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. APR 23 1932 

HISTORY ^, mr 









Entered according to Act of Congress in the Year 1887, 


In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C. 

Press of 

Globe Printing House, 








^PHIS volume, containing brief sketches of the Menno- 
■*• nites in America, beginning with the first settlement 
and organization at Germantown, Pa., is the result of re- 
searches originally intended as sketches for the public 
press, but at the earnest solicitation of many friends it is 
now offered in its present form, as a memorial of the two 
hundredth anniversary of their first organization in 

A history of the Mennonites, and more especially of 
those in America, is a task surrounded with many diffi- 
culties. But few collections of their books exist in 
America; in many of their churches no records have been 
kept, or have been lost; and many old and valuable papers 
and records that did exist, which would have been the 
ordinary source of information, have been destroyed or 
lost, not being regarded at the time of any value. 

Material facts have been diligently sought after and 
patient labor cheerfully bestowed upon the work ; events 
and facts have been gathered, both from American and 
European sources, in order to make it a valuable work 
for the present and future generations. It is submitted 



to a generous and intelligent people in the belief that it 
will meet their approval. 

Bancroft says of the Germans in America : " Neither 
they nor their descendants have laid claim to all that is 
their due." This is attributable partly to language, partly 
to race instincts and hereditary tendencies. Quiet in their 
tastes, deeply absorbed in the peaceful avocations of life, 
undemonstrative to the verge of diffidence, without clan- 
nish propensities, they have permitted their more aggres- 
sive neighbors to deny them a proper place even on the 
historic page. 

At the close of the Thirty Years' War there ran through 
Protestant Germany a broad line ; upon the one side of 
that line stood the followers of Luther and Zwingli, of 
Melancthon and Calvin — these were called the church 
people ; upon the other side stood Menno Simons, Diet- 
rich Philips, Casper Schwenkfeld, the Silesian Knight, and 
"The Separatists" — these were called the sect people. 
It was a line which divided persecution by new bound- 
aries, and left the fagot and the stake in new hands, for 
the Peace of Westphalia had thrown the guarantees of its 
powerful protection only over one side of this Protest- 
ant division. It was a line which in the New World, 
though less discernible than in the Old, is only becoming 
obliterated in the widening philanthropy of our own 

"While the German Church people have some written 


history in America, the sect people have yet very little of 
their history written." — E. K. Martin. 

Daniel Webster, in one of his speeches said, as if 
to commend our kind of notices : " There is still wanting 
a history which shall trace the Progress of Social Life. 
We still need to learn how our ancestors, in their houses, 
were fed, lodged and clothed, and what were their em- 
ployments. We wish to see and know more of the changes 
which took place from age to age in the homes of the 
first settlers," etc. 

We want a History of Firesides. 

I have endeavored to some extent to cover this ground 
— asjthe reader will find in the settlements of Germantown, 
Lancaster, Ohio and Canada. 

I believe the work to be as reliable as the nature of 
things will permit. 

Should the reader discover differences in dates or ages 
of persons, lie will remember that where the month is 
designated by a number, that March counts as the first 
month, April the second, etc. 

The days also differ from our reckoning. The im- 
proved Gregorian Calendar was not adopted in Pennsyl- 
vania till 1752, which accounts for the great discrepancy 
in ancient dates. 

I have also endeavored to retain the old or ancient 
phraseology in my quotations, as well as the old mode of 
spelling, especially names of places and persons, in order 
not to destroy the original. 


It is, therefore, in the hope of stimulating investigation 
into the past life of this most interesting of all those sects, 
who, during the last century or two, have landed upon 
our shores, that these brief sketches of the Mennonites 
have been given to the public. 

Hoping that my efforts may be of some benefit to the 
Mennonite Church and people in America. 

The Author. 


A large portion of the material composing this volume, 
which more immediately concerns the Mennonite 
Church in America, has to a considerable extent been de- 
rived from original documents, some of which have never 
been on historic pages before, and from the records of 
churches wherever such existed, such as the records of 
the Mennonite Church at Germantown, also that of Skip- 
pack and others, as well as the writings of Dr. Ludwig 
Keller, Royal Librarian at Miinster ; J. T. V. Braght's 
Martyrs' Mirror, and Biographical Sketches, by S. W. 
Pennypacker ; The Mennonites, by E. K. Martin ; B. Carl 
Roosen, Dr. A. Eby and a number of others. 

Special thanks for assistance and valuable information 
furnished during my labors in compiling this work, rend- 
ered in various ways, are due to Abraham Blosser, of 
Virginia ; John F. Funk, of Elkhart, Ind. ; Sam'l Stauf- 
fer, Berks Co., Pa. ; John B. Bechtel, Boyertown, Pa. ; 
Jacob S. Moyer, Bucks Co., Pa. ; A. B. Shelly, Milford 
Square, Bucks Co., Pa. ; Sam'l K. Cassel, Blooming Glen, 
Pa.; A. H. Cassel, Harleysville, Pa.; Abel Horning, 
Telford, Pa.; William S. Godshall, Schwenksville, Pa.; 



Jacob C. Loux, Lansdalc, Pa. ; John C. Boorse, Esq., 
Kulpsville, Pa. ; Herman Godshall, Souderton, Pa. ; M. 
S. Moyer, of Missouri ; George S. Nyce, of Frederick, 
Pa. ; N. B. Grubb, Philadelphia ; John B. Tyson, Skip- 
pack, Pa. ; Christian Schowalter, Primrose, Iowa; Hon. 
Horatio Gates Jones, Roxborough, Phila. ; Welty and 
Sprunger, Berne, Ind. ; and S. S. Haury, Cantonment, 
Indian Territory. The author is also under many obliga- 
tions to Prof. J. G. De Hoop Scheffer, of Amsterdam, 
Holland, and many others. The collection of the material 
for this volume has been a tedious and difficult work; 
and though conscious that this work is in many respects 
incomplete and deficient, the author is encouraged in its 
publication by the fact that his researches in certain 
periods of the American history of the Mennonite Church 
have not proved unsuccessful. The book is now sent 
forth with all its imperfections, hoping that it may help 
to awaken the members of the Mennonite Church to a 
consciousness of their precious historical inheritance. 

There are, no doubt, many inaccuracies and omissions, 
and the author will be grateful for such information as 
may hereafter enable him to give a more complete record. 



Menno Simons' Renunciation of the Church 

of Rome ....... 9 

Articles of Faith 25 

General Adoption of the Articles of Faith 42 
King Charles II and William Penn . . 46 
Settlement of Germantown ... 49 
Origin of the Sect of Mennonites . . 55 
Arrival of Mennonites at Germantown . 64 
Mennonite Meeting at Germantown . . 97 
An Address. By S. W. Pennypacker . . 117 
Report of the Indian Mission . . .126 
Virginia. A Historical Sketch of the Early Men- 
nonites in Virginia . . . . . 129 
Trials and Afflictions of the Virginia Mennonites 
During the Late Civil War . . . .134 
Mennonites in West Virginia . . . 143 
Christian Funk. The Schism among the Men- 
nonites in 1777 . ' . . . . 150 

4 contents. 

Manitoba Mennonites . . . . 152 
The Herrites (or Herrenleute) . . .154 

Mennonites in Missouri . . . . 156 
Early Settlement of the Mennonites in 

Elkhart County, Indiana . . .159 

Biographical Sketch of Jacob Christophel 165 
First Amish Settlement in Elkhart County, 

Indiana ^7 

Mennonites in Colorado 168 

Mennonites in New York State . . 169 

Maryland 1 »j 1 

Russian Settlements in the West . . 172 
Russian Settlements in Nebraska . .173 

Periodicals 175 

Conferences 178 

Mennonite Immigration to Pennsylvania 180 

Christopher Dock 203 

Der Blutige Schauplatz oder Martyrer 

Spiegel 211 

Settlement at Skippack 216 

The Organization of the Mennonite Church 

at Salford 221 

Franconia 225 


Kui.psvii.le. Mennonite Church at Towamencin, 

Montgomery County, Pa. .... 228 

Bartolet's Mennonite Meeting-house in Fred- 
erick Township, Montgomery County, Pa. . 232 
Gottsh all's, or Schwenksvieee . . . 234 

Herstein's 236 

rockhiel, or gehman's 237 

Perkasie, or Hieetown 240 

Deep Run Meeting-house .... 242 

doylestown 247 

Lexington 248 

Historical Sketches of the Swamp Menno- 
nite Church 249 

Springfield and Saucon 256 

Deep Run. A Brief Sketch of the Incorporated 
Mennonite Church at Deep Run (New School), 

in Bedminster, Bucks Count}', Pa. . . 258 

Hereford ........ 260 

Boyertown 262 

Mennonite Congregation in Upper Milford, 

Lehigh County 264 

Philadelphia (New School) .... 267 

o contents. 

Chester County, Pa. ..... 

Cumberland County, Pa. 
Northampton County Mennonites . 
Bangor . . . 

York County, Pa. 

Meeting-houses in Juniata County, Pa. 

Lebanon County, Pa. 

Snyder, Juniata and Perry Counties, Pa. 

Dauphin County, Pa 

Franklin County, Pa. 

Mennonite General Conference 
Mennonites in Lancaster County . 

Eby Family 

Herr Family 

Hershey Family 

A Brief Sketch of the First Mennonite 

Settlers in Pennsylvania . . . 300 

The Swiss Mennonites in Ohio ... 303 
A Sketch of the Mennonite Settlement in 

Canada 309 

Visit Among the Mennonites 

A Visit Among Russian Mennonites 

Mrs. Catharine Gable . 


Jacob Funk, Mennonite Minister at Germantown, 

from 1774 to 1816 337 

The Keysers 34 2 

Biography of the Kolbs in America . . 344 

Cassel Family in America . . . . 35 l 
Gerhard RoosEn. Mennonite Minister of the 
Hamburg Altona Congregation. Born 161 2, 

died 171 1 35 8 

Biographical Sketch op the Rittenhouses 363 

Emigration of the Stauffers to America . 367 

Custom of Baptism in the Early Centuries 369 
munsterites not connected with menno- 

NITES _ 3 8x 

Origin of the Munsterites .... 3%3 
German Translation of the Bible by the 

Waldenses 3 8 7 

The Community and the Church . . 39° 

Menno Simons' Memorial 39 * 

Origin of the Old Evangelical Church . 395 

Closing Chapter 399 

First Impulse or Motive of the Cassels Emi- 
grating to America .... 403 

8 contents. 

The; Mknnonite Shipbuilder .... 405 
Extract from an Address delivered by Dr. 

W. J. Mann 4° 6 

An Interesting Address. By Matteo Bro- 

chet, of Rome 409 

The Mennonites and Temperance . . .411 

Early Churches of Germantown . . 412 
Old Germantown. Its Division into Lots. — The 

Curious Names of the Original Settlers and 

Something of their Holdings . . -414 

Ephrata . . 420 

Old Clock 421 

Indian Contract and Deed to William Penn 422 

Mennonites 425 

Origin of New Year's Day, or First of 

January 427 

Undertakers for Funerals .... 429 

First Mennonites Represented as Quakers 430 

No Union of Church and State . . . 431 

Habits of First Settlers 432 

Obituary 433 

Menno Simons' Renunciation of the 
Church of Rome. 

THE names of CEcolampadius, Luther, Zwinglius, 
Melanchton, Bucer, Bullinger, Calvin and others, 
whom God in His providence raised up as humble instru- 
ments to reform to no small extent abuses which had 
crept into the Church, are familiar to almost every ordi- 
nary reader; while that of Menno Simons is little 
known, although he was contemporary with Luther, 
Zwinglius and others, and with some of whom he had 
personal interviews — with Luther and Melanchton in 
Wittemberg ; with Bullinger at Zurich ; and at Strasburg 
with Bucer. 

It has been a mooted question for many years whether 
or not the Mennonites were descendants from the Wal- 
denses, but the testimony of Dr. Ypeij, a professor of 
theology at Groningen and a member of the Dutch 
Reformed Church, in a book published by him in 1813, 
ought to set the question forever at rest. The eminent 
Doctor says in his excellent work that the Baptists, who 
were formerly called Anabaptists and in latter times Men- 
nonites, were the original Waldenses. Testimony of this 
character from such high authority in the Dutch Re- 
formed Church must carry conviction with it. 

There is apparently no reason to question the antece- 



dents of the Mennonites, but as misrepresentation has 
always been more or less their bane, we suppose it will 
so continue to be until the end of time, when, if not be- 
fore, justice will assuredly be done them. 

The name Mennonite came from Menno Simons,* a 
native of Witmarsum, a small town about half-way be- 
tween Bolsward and Harlingen, and the year of his birth 
1492 ; he was reared as a Catholic. We find in his writ- 
ings that he was appointed chaplain in Pingium, a small 
town which he called his father's town, where he was 
stationed as a priest and preached for two years, without 
ever having read the Scripture, or touched it, for fear 
he might be mislead. 

In the third year (1527) he concluded to read the 
Scripture and soon found that he was in error. He con- 
tinued reading the Scripture daily, and was soon called 
an evangelical preacher, but still, as he says, he loved the 
world and the world loved him. 

It occurred in the year 1531 that a very devout Chris- 
tian named Sicke Schneider, a native of Switzerland, was 
beheaded, being condemned by the Catholics as a heretic, 
because he renewed his baptism. Menno Simons had 
never heard of a second baptism, therefore it seemed to 
him very strange. He then commenced to examine the 
Scripture closely in regard to infant baptism, but, as he 
says, he soon found that infant baptism had no founda- 
tion in the Scripture. 

Shortly after 1531 Menno Simons left Pingium and 
was stationed in Witmarsum, his birthplace, as a Catholic 

■'• < »r Symons, read Seemon 


After remaining at the latter place about one year, the 
first evangelical people teaching the doctrine of adult 
baptism settled also in the neighborhood, and soon after, 
the Miinsterites also made their appearance among them 
and elected John Bockhold their king. A riot took place 
and the Miinsterites were driven out, in 1534, by Count 
Waldeck, its expelled bishop, and in February, 1535, 
about 300 men, with their wives and children, entrenched 
themselves in the so-called old cloister, near Witmarsum, 
where on the 7th of April, 1535, they were overpowered; 
many were taken prisoners, many were killed, women 
were drowned. Menno Simons' own brother, Peter 
Simons, also lost his life in this riot, and many of the quiet 
and peaceable evangelical people who lived among them 
suffered much. 

All this took place while Menno Simons was yet in the 
Catholic Church, but his teaching and his life became 
quite changed. During this time he wrote a book against 
the Miinsterites, shortly before he left the Catholic 
Church. In that book he speaks of John Bockhold, of 
Ley den, as yet living, and who was executed January 2 2d, 


Menno Simons left the Catholic Church January 1 2th, 
1 5 36 (see Berend Karl Roosen, p. 24). According to the 
foregoing statement it is clearly shown that Menno 
Simons never had any connection or anything common 
with the Miinsterites, because he was yet in the Catholic 

Menno renounced the Catholic faith January 12th, 
1536, and shortly afterwards he was baptized at Leeu- 
warden (see B. Karl Roosen, p. 25) by Johann Matthys 
(see Gemeindebldtt fur Mouwnitcn, Bdnde 4 und $ y JaJirg. 


After his severance from the Catholic Church he lived 
retired, spent his time in reading and writing, until the 
year 1537. 

Ubbo Philipps, a brother of Dirk Philipps, was or- 
dained to the ministry by Johann Matthys, says Berend 
Karl Roosen, of Hamburg, Altojia, and Menno Simons was 
ordained a minister by Ubbo Philipps in 1537, in the Old 
Evangelical (Tmifgcsbmtcn, or Waldcnscr) Church, after- 
wards called Mennonites. 

Menno Simons' departure from the teachings of his 
childhood naturally caused the greatest indignation in 
Catholic circles, and from that time on he and his fol- 
lowers were subjected to the basest persecution — a perse- 
cution which has been transmitted through successive 
generations and exists to-day, although not to such an 

After Menno's ordination to the ministry in 1537, he 
exercised an influence upon the remaining Miinsterites, 
strong enough to cause them to renounce their warlike 
attitude and become peaceable Christians. He tried to 
persuade them to hold peace, even when he was yet a 
Catholic priest. 

The quiet Old Evangelical Baptists, who strongly re- 
nounced every kind of warfare, called upon Menno in 
1537, after he had renounced his office as Catholic priest, 
and only after much deliberation and prayer he con- 
sented to accept the call and become their bishop (see 
B. K. Rooscn.p. jj), and, being a learned and eloquent 
man, he accomplished a vast amount of good, the effect 
of which is felt in Mennonite circles to-day. His un- 
questioned piety and sincerity, together with his elo- 
quence, swayed the multitudes and many thousands en- 

Nach dem der Mennoniten Kirche in Hamburg und Altona gehorendem Bildnisse. 


BORN 1492. DIED 1559. 


listed in the good cause. In the year 1537 Menno Simons 
commenced traveling throughout Northern Germany as 
a teacher of the Scriptural truth. Everywhere he went 
his life was endangered by indignant followers of the 
faith he had renounced, but he was not dismayed, and 
went on in his laudable effort to convert men to be be- 
lievers in and followers of the teachings of Christ. He 
founded many congregations in Europe, and labored 
assiduously in his undertaking until death put an end to 
his earthly career. 

The exact date of Menno Simons' birth and death is 
somewhat shrouded in mystery. Nearly all writers in 
the home of Menno Simons have fixed 1496 as the year 
of his birth, and 1561 as the year of his death. We find 
in his foundation book, in late German editions, "that it 
[the dawning of the new spiritual light] occurred in 1524, 
in his twenty-eighth year," which would make the year 
of his birth 1496; but the first Dutch collected edition to 
which we have access does not contain any such date. 
It appears, then, he never wrote this sentence ; it has evi- 
dently been added by some writer or printer in later years. 

E. K. Martin, Esq., of the Lancaster Bar, in his pam- 
phlet called the " Mennonites," fixes the year of Menno's 
birth in 1492. 

Professor J. G. De Hoop Scheffer, who has charge of 
the Mennonite archives at Amsterdam, in Holland, whom 
we must acknowledge as good authority, and have no 
reason to doubt has better facilities of ascertaining than 
many others, also fixes the year of Menno's birth, A.D. 
1492, and that of his death 1559, on the 13th of January. 

Much could be written on this subject and explana- 
tions given, but this must suffice. The good that Menno 


Simons had done in life did not end at his death; it lived 
after him. The seed he had sown took deep root in the 
hearts of those he had taught, and although some writers 
accuse his followers of degenerating after Menno's death, 
they continued to labor on in the good cause. There is 
no evidence to prove the theory that his followers became 
lukewarm after his death. There has been a disposition 
in some quarters to depreciate the work accomplished by 
Menno Simons, and much of the credit that rightfully 
belongs to him was given to Luther and Calvin and others 
of his contemporaries. The time will come, however, 
when the concession will be made that he did as much 
towards the enlightenment of mankind as did those illus- 
trious personages who shed such lustre on the history of 
the Reformation. 

The persecution of the Mennonites continued long after 
the death of Menno Simons. They were compelled to 
flee from one country to another. The band of followers 
of the Mennonite doctrine was compelled to disperse. 
Some of them went to Russia, others to Prussia, Poland, 
Holland and Denmark, and others to America. 

The alleged peculiarity of the faith of the Mennonites, 
even after they came to America, was still the subject of un- 
favorable comment and much ridicule. The Mennonites 
do not parade their doctrine like other denominations, 
and their form of religious worship is free from every 
semblance of ostentation. They prefer not to let their 
good works be seen of men. Nevertheless, having en- 
dured the ridicule of those antagonistic to their manner 
of worship as long as they could, they prepared a work 
called Articles of Faith, which was executed and finished 
in the United Churches in the city of Dortrecht, April 


2 1 st, 1632, subscribed by delegates from all the churches 
(see Articles of Faith, page 25). One feature of their 
faith, and one to which they cling with most praiseworthy 
tenacity, is this : They believe that the doctrine of Christ 
forbids the resentment of wrongs and the showing of any 
spirit of revenge. They believe their mission to be one 
which will redound to the benefit of all men, and they are 
assiduous in their efforts to that end. They never turn 
a stranger from their door, but they do not give alms to 
be seen of men. They are very careful in this respect. 
If an enemy comes to them in distress, they help him. 
What an example they set for many professing Christians! 
One portion of their faith may possibly be termed pecu- 
liar; yet when one looks at it in the right light, there is 
nothing so objectionable in it. In forming marital rela- 
tions, the Mennonites adhere to the doctrine that two 
believers in the same faith should marry. This is a cus- 
tom of the Church which is still strictly adhered to by 
many. They base this portion of their belief upon the or- 
dainment of God in the garden of Eden, when he insti- 
tuted an honorable union between Adam and Eve. In 
their code they cite many more Scriptural teachings which 
carry them out in their belief that there should be no 
marriage consummated except between two members of 
the same Church. 

The Mennonites do not believe in any great floiirish 
of trumpets; so they seldom make known the number of 
their communicants. In short, they believe in doing all 
the good they can, but in a quiet way. In this they ob- 
serve a simplicity worthy of emulation. Too many of 
our churches make a great flourish, and ministers and 
members speak glowingly of what ought to be done; but 


they seldom find time to do it. On the other hand, the 
Mennonites indulge in no braggadocia, and go around 
quietly doing the work which they believe has been made 
imperative on them by the command of the Master. 

Descriptive of the trials and tribulations that the ear- 
lier Mennonites underwent, nothing can be more beauti- 
ful than the following, which is taken from an ably written 
pamphlet on the " Mennonites," composed by E. K. Mar- 
tin, Esq., a member of the Lancaster Bar: " A recent his- 
torian says: 'The philologist who seeks to know some- 
thing of the language of the primeval man of Europe, 
finds amid the mountains of the Pyrenees the ^Basques, 
who have preserved down to the present time the tongue 
of their remote forefathers.' 

"Whether we regard their personal history or the result 
of their teaching, the Mennonites were the most interest- 
ing people who came to America. There is scarcely a 
family among them which cannot be traced to some an- 
cestor burned to death because of his faith. Their whole 
literature smacks of the fire. Beside a record like theirs 
the sufferings of Pilgrim and Quaker seem trivial. A 
hundred years before the time of Roger Williams, George 
Fox and William Penn, the Dutch reformer, Menno 
Simons, contended for the complete severance of Church 
and State, and the struggles for religious and political 
liberty which convulsed England and led to the English 
colonization of America in the seventeenth century, were 
logical results of docrines advanced by the Dutch and 
German Anabaptists in the one which preceded. This 
is a bold and sweeping claim for a place in history for 
the Mennonites; but let him who challenges it look well 
to the ground on which he stands. 


"The sixteenth century was a period of unrest in the 
Old World. Europe was at length standing at the foot of 
the long ascent which was to lead out of Middle Age 
superstition and servitude to false and degrading relig- 
ious pretensions. Of all the dreadful visitations to Europe 
in which this sixteenth century spirit sought expression, 
the Peasants' war of Germany was the worst. A hundred 
thousand of them fell in battle or were driven into exile, 
and their cause was stamped out in blood ; not so, how- 
ever, their ideas. The Middle Age spirit the brave peas- 
ants had challenged, and it must henceforth fight for its 
existence alongside of Popery and whatever else men 
saw fit to condemn, when the smoke of the pillaged 
castles and ruined vineyards had ascended to heaven, and 
the earth had drunk up the blood from the hundred battle- 
fields, and the last remnant of the warlike Anabaptists 
had fallen under the mercenary's heel or the headsman's 
axe, when the detonations of the fierce popular explosion 
had ceased longer to terrify, and the empire, surfeited 
with bloodshed, had begun to stay the hand of destruc- 
tion, out of the vast chaos, the confusion of beliefs, the 
contempt for creed, arose a new apostle with a new doc- 
trine. And yet it was not new ; the same fundamental 
belief had been promulgated by Waldus in the twelfth 
century and by Wickliffe in the fourteenth. It was 
Christianism in humility, and the apostle was Menno 
Simons. In 1536 Menno renounced Popery altogether, 
and shortly after a number of persons came to him, whom 
he describes as of one heart and soul with himself, and 
these earnestly besought him to take upon himself the 
ministry of the Word. In this little handful of believers 
we have the first Mennonite congregation, and the first 


Mennonitc pastor, and the continuation of the Apostolic 
Church. They were undoubtedly Waldenses who had 
survived the fire of persecution and the fury of the Peasant 
war. There are many things besides creed and religious 
practices, the implications of contemporary writers and 
the direct testimony of the historians, Van Braght, Roosen, 
Mehrning and others, that lead to this conclusion. The 
Waldenses had been the valley people of the Alpine fast- 
nesses, almost the only places in Europe where the cor- 
roding influences of the Church had failed to destroy the 
simplicity of primitive Christianity. Neander says : 'They 
not only disapproved of oaths, but held it unchristian to 
shed blood,' which are among the fundamental teachings 
of Menno. Frank, a very ancient writer, speaking of the 
Waldenses says: 'They reject infant baptism, they live a 
blameless, Christian life, invoke no saints or any creature; 
they call upon God alone, they swear not at all, and main- 
tain that no Christian is allowed to swear. They have no 
mendicants among them, but they help each other as 
brethren. These are the true Waldenses.' Since they 
likewise opposed war and taking part in civil government, 
the stricter of them could not become Lutherans, Zwing- 
lians or Calvinists, and the inference is irresistible that 
they lost their identity in that sect which has preserved 
to our own day their practices and belief, and which in 
the nineteenth century exacts the rigid simplicity and 
stout self-denial which succesfully resisted Roman ab- 
solutism in Europe during the fifteenth century. Of 
course, the Mennonites inherited at the same time the 
terms of opprobrium with which the Papists had for cen- 
turies been pleased to stigmatize all those who differed 
with themselves. The followers of Menno have frequently 


been confounded with the Munsterites, or warlike section 
of the Anabaptists, among whom the enthusiasm of the 
Reformation led to frightful excesses. There is nothing 
in ecclesiastical history better authenticated than not only 
his lack of sympathy with, but his utter abhorrence and 
detestation of, their practice, one of the first acts of Menno's 
ministry being the preparation of a work stigmatizing the 
Minister king and his "ungodly doctrine." With refer- 
ence to the unjust confounding of these sects, because 
they agreed in the visible act of repeating baptism, history 
is rapidly changing front, and the furious and fanatical 
are being separated from the gentle and pious, as it is 
being discovered and brought to light that these terms 
of opprobrium have been for centuries fastened upon great 
numbers of people whom history has dealt with unjustly 
and harshly, because historians were enemies or the tools 
of enemies, and because the learning of the period was 
sifted through bigotry and intolerance. A sect must be 
judged by its principles, not by its slanderers. 

"Hcrzog's German Encyclopedia, a high authority, 
thus treats of the great apostle : 'The ground thought 
from which Menno proceeded was not, as with Luther, 
justification by faith, or, as with the Swiss reformers, the 
absolute dependence of the sinner upon God in the work 
of salvation. The holy Christian life in opposition to 
worldliness was the point whence Menno proceeded, and 
to which he always returned. In the Romish Church we 
see the ruling spirit of Peter ; in the Reformed Evangel- 
ical, of Paul; in Menno we see arise again James the Just, 
the brother of the Lord.' 

" Luther's conception undoubtedly was that of a State 
Church. It was in accordance with the spirit of his 


times, the religious temper of his age, and grandly did 
the problem work itself out from the impulse he gave it. 
Menno Simons had a scheme equally grand, more devout 
and of more exalted piety. He saw the north of Europe 
the home of haunted sects ; he saw in these, or thought 
he saw, the outlines of the ancient religion, obscured and 
distorted, it is true, by the traditions in which it had been 
preserved, but consonant still with the teachings of Christ 
the Redeemer as He interpreted them to the multitude 
by the Sea of Galilee, and to the eleven on the Mount of 
the Ascension. To gather these sects, which under vari- 
ous names were becoming entangled in the dangerous 
heresies of the Reformation period, and unite them under 
one fold, free alike from the plagues of Rome and the de- 
lusions of the world, was the work he set before himself. 
In order to accomplish this, Menno insisted on the most 
careful attention to moral duties and exercised the 
severest discipline towards offenders, employing even 
the ban of excommunication from fellowship of the 
Church. About Menno there grew up a large and flour- 
ishing sect. On questions of discipline after a time they 
became divided into the Flemings or Flandrians, and the 
Waterlanders, from districts of Holland in which each 
resided. These divisions led to intestine discords, which 
were finally settled at a Synod held in Amsterdam in 
1630. Their early history is a story of frightful persecu- 
tions endured with rare and heroic fortitude. Three 
thousand of them suffered martyrdom in Suabia, Bavaria, 
Austria and the Tyrol ; six thousand under the rule of 
Philip II of Spain. 

" Pennypacker says : 'There were nearly as many mar- 
tyrs among the Mennonites in the City of Antwerp alone 


as there were Protestants burned to death in England 
during the whole reign of Bloody Mary.' Menno him- 
self, during the greater part of his ministry, went about 
with a price on his head ; malefactors were promised 
pardon and murderers absolution if they would deliver 
him up. Sometimes clad like a peasant, with an axe on 
his shoulder, to disarm suspicion, he would go into the 
depths of the forest to minister to his scanty flock 
assembled there ; again in the caves of the earth he 
gathered his faithful ones, and when persecution was 
sorest they ofttimes held these Christian communions 
in the dead of the night, purposely avoiding the knowl- 
edge of each other's names, that, if apprehended and 
put to the rack or instrument of torture, no unguarded 
word in the awful extremity of the hour might escape 
their lips to betray one another. Of course their meet- 
ings and their practices were thus shrouded with an al- 
most impenetrable obscurity, which was constantly taken 
advantage of by their enemies to proclaim them as plotters 
of sedition as well as practicers of heresy. They were 
persecuted by Catholics and Protestants alike. In 
Switzerland, the land of William Tell and Ulrich 
Zwingli, when the Reformed Church was yet but five 
years old and its members were themselves still the sub- 
jects of persecution, the Protestant State Church inaug- 
urated a frightful persecution of the Old Evangelical 
Baptists, to be followed during the next century and a 
quarter by every appliance of vengeance, until the perse- 
cution of 1659, exceeding all its predecessors in severity, 
almost totally annihilated the sect. 

"These Swiss persecutions of the Mennonites must ever 
stand as a blot on the pages of the Protestant Reforma- 


tion, and more especially as they were perpetrated chiefly 
by that Church which they most closely resembled of all 
Protestant communions. We know there are excuses 
offered, but they are the excuses of cowardice. It is 
attempted to palliate the naked ugliness of these under- 
takings by saying that to have permitted their religious 
irregularities longer would have invoked the wrath of the 
powerful emperor, and perhaps subjected all the cantons 
to Papal persecution and the destruction of their ancient 

" The Mennonite persecutions were then a bid for politi- 
cal favor and protection. The extreme severity of the 
Swiss Protestants against the Mennonites sent a chill of 
horror through all Holland, and drew a memorable pro- 
test from the burgomasters and lords of Rotterdam. An 
ambassador went out from the Hague loaded with remon- 
strances, but they seem all to have been of no avail, for 
Swiss Mennonites, branded with the arms of the Canton 
of Berne and chained to their seats, continued to pull 
galleys in the Mediterranean, to work on the fortifications 
of Malta, and to be sold to Barbary pirates, principally 
because they differed from their Protestant brethren as to 
whether a child should be held at the baptismal font as 
soon as it could be carried there by its nurse, or whether 
the age of discretion was the appropriate period to receive 
the holy ordinance. 

" But while the iron hold of persecution was tightening 
its grip at one end of the Rhine Valley, it was relaxing 
its hold at the other. Towards the close of the sixteenth 
century a grand and historic personage advanced upon 
the scene and became sponsor for the persecuted Men- 
nonites. Mosheim says : ' The Mennonites, after having 


been long in an uncertain and precarious situation, ob- 
tained a fixed and unmolested settlement in the United 
Provinces, under the shade of a legal toleration procured 
for them by William, Prince of Orange, the glorious 
founder of the liberty of the Netherlands. This illustri- 
ous chief, who acted from principle in allowing liberty of 
conscience and worship to Christians of different denomi- 
nations, was moreover engaged by gratitude to favor the 
Mennonites, who had assisted him in the year 1572 with 
a comfortable sum of money, when his coffers were 
nearly exhausted. 

" ' He was frequently urged to persecute the Mennonites, 
and violently assaulted for his refusal to do so. His 
trusted friend, Saint Aldegonde, the distinguished patriot 
of the Netherlands, complained because he would not do 
it; and Peter Dathenus denounced him as an atheist for 
the same reason. Both civil magistrates and clergy made 
a long and obstinate opposition to his proclaimed tolera- 
tion towards this people, an opposition not entirely con- 
quered by him at the time of his death, but which on 
every occasion he resolutely discountenanced through his 
whole life.' 

" In 1 7 1 o, finding themselves studiously and persistently 
misrepresented and misunderstood, the Swiss Mennonites 
at length broke their long silence by publishing to the 
world their Confession of Faith,* at Amsterdam, which 

* First, Of the Magistracy ; Second, Of Defence or Revenge ; Third, Of 
Oath or Swearing. The above-named Articles are The same as the 13th, 
14th and 15th Articles of the Dortrecht Confession of Faith adopted in 

The above exiled petitioners requested us, the regents or burgomasters of 
the City of Amsterdam, that we should have the above Statement or Con- 


secured them absolute tranquillity in Holland ever after. 
(See Mennpnite History, by Ben. Eby, Berlin, Canada, 184.1.) 
They, in common with all Holland, shared the advantages 
which the revocation of the Edict of Nantes brought to the 
Dutch nation, and grew rich and numerous. Many now 
became well educated, and occupied high social and com- 
mercial relations. The deft Flemish weavers, the rare 
lacemakers, the skillful artisans who made the Low 
Countries the home of superior trades found among their 
sect unrivaled craftsmen. The famous linens and silks 
of Crefeld were woven on Huguenot and Mennonite 
looms, and there was an entire class of fabric known at 
that time in the Dutch trade as Mennonite goods. 
Mosheim said of them at a little later period : ' It is cer- 
tain that the Mennonites in Holland, at this day, are in 
their tables, their equipages and their country seats the 
most luxurious of the Dutch nation. This is more 
especially true of the Mennonites of Amsterdam, who 
are numerous and exceedingly opulent.' " 

As the question is frequently asked, What is the belief 
of the Mennonites, or in what respect do they differ from 
other denominations, I will give the leading Articles of 
the Christian Faith of the Churches of the United Flem- 
ish, Friesland and other Mennonites, adopted in 1632, 
at a conference held in the city of Dortrecht. 

fession in writing, that it might be preserved in our archives for future 
reference, but being they could not speak the Dutch language, and their 
language (the Swiss) was hard to be understood, they had it translated by a 
notary-public under a solemn promise. 

And for the purpose of having a reliable record, we caused the town seal 
to be appended to the Articles, and subscribed to by one of our secretaries, 
dated May the 22d, A.D. 17 10. 

By order of the authorities, burgomasters or regents as above. 

J. lliiEs, Secretary. 

Articles of Faith. 

i. Of God, of the Creation of all Things, and 
of Man. — Since it is testified that without faith it is im- 
possible to please God, and that whosoever would come 
to God must believe that God is, and that He is a re- 
warder of all those who seek Him, we therefore confess 
and believe, according to the Scriptures, with all the 
pious, in one eternal, omnipotent and incomprehensible 
God : The Father, Son and Holy Ghost ; and in no more 
and none other ; before whom there was no God, nor 
shall there be any after Him ; for from Him, by Him and 
in Him are all things ; to whom be praise, honor and 
glory for ever and ever. Amen. 

We believe in this one God, who works all in all ; and 
confess that He is the Creator of all things, visible and 
invisible, who in six days created heaven and earth, the 
sea and all that is therein ; and that He governs and up- 
holds all His works by His wisdom, and by the word of 
His power. Now, as He had finished His work, and 
had ordained and prepared every thing good and perfect 
in its nature and properties, according to His good 
pleasure, so at last He created the first man, Adam, the 
father of us all ; gave him a body, formed of the dust of 
the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, 
so that he became a living soul, created by God after His 
own image and likeness, in righteousness and true holi- 
ness, unto eternal life. He esteemed him above all 

( 2 5) 


creatures, and endowed him with many and great gifts ; 
placed him in a delightful garden or paradise, and gave 
him a command and a prohibition ; afterwards He took 
a rib from Adam, made a woman, and brought her to 
Adam for a helpmate, consort and wife. The consequence 
is, that from this first and only man, Adam, all men that 
dwell upon the earth have descended. 

II. Of the Fall of Man. — We believe and confess, 
according to the tenure of the Scriptures, that our first 
parents, Adam and Eve, did not remain long in the 
glorious state in which they were created ; but being 
deceived by the subtlety of the serpent and the envy of 
the devil, they transgressed the high commandment of 
God and disobeyed their Creator, by which disobedience 
sin entered the world, and death by sin, which has thus 
passed upon all men, in that all have sinned, and hence 
incurred the wrath of God and condemnation. They 
were, therefore, driven of God out of paradise, to till the 
earth, to toil for sustenance, and to eat their bread in the 
sweat of their face, till they should" return to the earth 
whence they had been taken. And that they, by this 
one sin, fell so far as to be separated and estranged from 
God, that neither they themselves, nor any of their 
posterity, nor angel, nor man, nor any other creature in 
heaven or on earth, could help them, redeem them or 
reconcile them to God ; but they must have been eternally 
lost, had not God, in compassion for His creatures, made 
provision for them, interposing with love and mercy. 

III. Of the Restoration of Man by the Promise 
of Christ's Coming. — Concerning the restoration of the 


first man and his posterity, we believe and confess that 
God, notwithstanding their fall, transgression, sin and 
perfect inability, was not willing to cast them off entirely, 
nor suffer them to be eternally lost; but that He called 
them again to Him, comforted them, and testified that 
there was yet means of reconciliation ; namely, the Lamb 
without spot, the Son of God, who was appointed for this 
purpose before the foundation of the world, and was 
promised while they were yet in paradise, for consolation, 
redemption and salvation unto them and all their pos- 
terity; nay, from that time forth was bestowed upon 
them by faith; afterwards all the pious forefathers, to 
whom this promise was frequently renewed, longed for, 
desired, saw by faith, and waited for the fulfillment, that 
at his coming He would redeem, liberate and release 
fallen man from sin, guilt and unrighteousness. 

IV. Of the Coming of Christ and the Cause of 
His Coming. — We further believe and confess that when 
the time of His promise, which all the forefathers anx- 
iously expected, was fulfilled, promised Messiah, Re- 
deemer and Saviour, proceeded from God, was sent, and 
according to the predictions of the prophets and the 
testimony of the Evangelist, came into the world ; nay, 
was made manifest in the flesh, and thus the Word was 
made flesh and man ; He was conceived by the Virgin 
Mary, who was espoused to Joseph, of the house of 
David ; and that she brought forth her first-born son at 
Bethlehem, wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid 
Him in a manger. 

We confess and believe that this is He whose going 
forth is from everlasting to everlasting, without begin- 


ning of days or end of life ; of whom it is testified that 
He is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the 
first and the last ; that He is the same and no other who 
was provided, promised, sent and came into the world, 
and who is God's first and only Son, and who was before 
John the Baptist, Abraham, and prior to the formation of 
the world ; nay, who was the Lord of David, and the 
God of the universe ; the first-born of all creatures, who 
was sent into the world and yielded up the body which 
was prepared for Him, a sacrifice and offering, for a 
sweet savor to God ; nay, for the consolation, redemp- 
tion and salvation of the world ; we believe also in the 
Apostles' Creed, as given by the Evangelists. 

But as to how and in what manner this worthy body 
was prepared, and how the Word became flesh, we are 
satisfied with the statement given by the Evangelists ; 
agreeably to which, we confess with all the saints, that 
He is the Son of the living God, in whom alone consists 
all our hope, consolation, redemption and salvation. 

We further believe and confess with the Scriptures, that 
when He had fulfilled His course and finished the work 
for which He had been sent into the world, He was, 
according to the providence of God, delivered into 
the hands of wicked men; that He suffered under 
Pontius Pilate ; was crucified, dead and buried ; rose 
again from the dead on the third day ; ascended to 
heaven, and sits on the right hand of the majesty of God 
on high; whence He will come again to judge the Living 
and the dead. And also that the Son of God died, tasted 
death and shed His precious blood for all men, and that 
thereby He bruised the serpent's head, destroyed the 
works of the devil, abolished the handwriting, and 


obtained the remission of sins for the whole human 
family ; that He became the means {author) of eternal 
salvation to all those who, from Adam to the end of 
the world, believe in and obey Him. 

V. Of the Law of Christ, the Gospel of the 
New Testament. — We believe and confess that previous 
to His ascension He made, instituted and left His New 
Testament, and gave it to His disciples, that it should re- 
main an everlasting testament, which He confirmed and 
sealed with His blood, and commended it so highly to 
them that it is not to be altered, neither by angels nor 
men, neither to be added thereto, nor taken therefrom. 
And that inasmuch as it contains the whole will and 
counsel of His Heavenly Father, as far as is necessary for 
salvation, he has caused it to be promulgated by His 
Apostles, missionaries and ministers, whom He called and 
chose for that purpose, and sent into all the world, to 
preach in His name among all people, and nations, and 
tongues, testifying repentance and the forgiveness of sins; 
and that consequently He has therein declared all men, 
without exception, as His children and lawful heirs, so 
far as they follow and live up to the contents of the same 
by faith, as obedient children ; and thus He has not ex- 
cluded any from the glorious inheritance of everlasting 
life, except the unbelieving, the disobedient, the obstinate 
and the perverse, who despise it, and by their continual 
sinning, render themselves unworthy of eternal life. 

VI. Of Repentance and Reformation. — We believe 
and confess, since the thoughts of the heart are evil from 
youth, and prone to unrighteousness, sin and wickedness, 


that the first lesson of the New Testament of the Son of 
God is repentance and reformation. Men, therefore, who 
have ears to hear and hearts to understand, must bring 
forth fruits meet for repentance, reform their lives, believe 
the Gospel, eschew evil and do good, desist from sin and 
forsake unrighteousness, put off the old man with all his 
works, and put on the new man, created after God in 
righteousness and true holiness ; for neither baptism, sup- 
per, church, nor any other outward ceremony can, with- 
out faith, regeneration, change or reformation of life, 
enable us to please God, or obtain from Him any consola- 
tion or promise of salvation. But we must go to God, 
with sincere hearts and true and perfect faith, and believe 
on Jesus Christ, according to the testimony of the Scrip- 
tures ; by this living faith we obtain remission or forgive- 
ness of sins, are justified, sanctified, nay, made children of 
God, partakers of His image, nature and mind; being 
born again of God from above, through the incorruptible 

VII. Of Baptism. — As regards Baptism, we confess 
that all penitent believers, who by faith, regeneration and 
renewing of the Holy Ghost are made one with God and 
written in heaven, must, upon their Scriptural confession 
of faith and reformation of life, be baptized with water,* in 
the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy 
Ghost, agreeably to the doctrine and command of Christ 
and the usage of His Apostles to the burying of their 
sins, and thus be received into fellowship with the saints, 
whereupon they must learn to observe all things which 

* The Mennonites baptize by pouring water upon the head of the person 
baptized when in a kneeling position. 


the Son of God taught, left to and commanded His dis- 

VIII. Of the Church of Christ. — We believe and 
confess there is a visible Church of God, namely, those 
who, as aforementioned, do works meet for repentance, 
have true faith and receive a true baptism, are made one 
with God in heaven, and received into fellowship of the 
saints here upon earth : those we profess are the chosen 
generation, the royal priesthood, the holy nation, who 
have the witness that they are the spouse and bride of 
Christ, nay, the children and heirs of everlasting life; a 
habitation, a tabernacle, a dwelling-place of God in the 
Spirit, built upon the foundation of the Apostles and 
the Prophets, Christ being the chief corner-stone (upon 
which his Church is built) — this Church of the living God, 
which He bought, purchased and redeemed with His own 
precious blood, with which Church, according to His 
promise, He will always remain to the end of the world 
as protector and comforter of believers; nay, will dwell 
with them, walk among them, and so protect them, that 
neither floods nor tempests, nor the gates of hell shall 
prevail against or overthrow them. This Church is to be 
distinguished by Scriptural faith, doctrine, love, godly 
walk or deportment, as also by a profitable or fruitful 
conversation, use and observance of the true ordinances 
of Christ, which He strictly enjoined upon His followers. 

IX. Of the Election and Office of Teachers, 
Deacons and Deaconesses in the Church. — As re- 
gards offices and elections in the Church, we believe and 
confess, since the Church cannot subsist in her growth. 


nor remain an edifice without officers and discipline, that, 
therefore, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself instituted and 
ordained officers and ordinances, and gave commands and 
directions how every one ought to walk therein, take heed 
to his work and vocation and do that which is right and 
necessary ; for He, as the true, great and Chief Shepherd 
and Bishop of our souls, was sent and came into the 
world, not to wound or destroy the souls of men, but to 
heal and restore them; to seek the lost; to break down 
the middle wall of partition; of two to make one; to 
gather together out of Jews, Gentiles and all nations a 
fold to have fellowship in His name, for which, in order 
that none might err or go astray, He laid down His own 
life, and thus made a way for their salvation, redeeming 
and releasing them when there was no one to help or 

And further, that He provided His Church before His 
departure with faithful ministers, evangelists, pastors and 
teachers, whom He had chosen by the Holy Ghost, with 
prayers and supplications, in order that they might govern 
the Church, feed His flock, watch over them, defend and 
provide for them ; nay, do in all things as He did, going 
before them, as He taught, acted and commanded, teach- 
ing them to do all things whatsoever He commanded 

That the Apostles, likewise, as true followers of Christ 
and leaders of the Church, were diligent with prayers and 
supplication to God in electing brethren, providing every 
city, place or church with bishops, pastors and leaders, 
and ordaining such persons as took heed to themselves 
and to the doctrine and flock who were sound in the 
faith, virtuous in life and conversation, and were of good 


report, that they might be an example, light and pattern 
in all godliness, with good works, worthily administering 
the Lord's ordinances, baptism and supper, and that 
they might appoint in all places faithful men as elders, 
capable of teaching others, ordaining them by the im- 
position of hands in the name of the Lord ; further, to 
have the care, according to their ability, for all things 
necessary in the Church ; so that, as faithful servants, 
they might husband well their Lord's talent, gain by it, 
and consequently save themselves and those who hear 

That they should also have a care for every one of 
whom they have the oversight; to provide in all places 
deacons who may receive contributions and alms, in 
order faithfully to dispense them to the necessitous 
saints with all becoming honesty and decorum. 

That honorable and aged widows should be chosen 
deaconesses, who, with the deacons, may visit, comfort 
and provide for poor, weak, infirm, distressed and indi- 
gent persons, as also to visit widows and orphans, and 
further assist in taking care of the concerns of the 
Church according to their ability. 

And further, respecting deacons, that they particularly, 
when they are capable, being elected and ordained thereto 
by the Church, for the relief and assistance of the elders, 
may admonish the members of the Church being ap- 
pointed thereto, and labor in the Word and doctrine, 
assisting one another out of love with the gift received of 
the Lord ; by which means, through the mutual service 
and assistance of every member, according to his measure, 
the body of Christ may be edified, and the vine and 
Church of the Lord may grow up, increase and be pre- 


X. Of the Holy Supper. — We likewise confess and 
observe a breaking of bread, or supper, which the Lord 
Jesus Christ instituted with bread and wine before His 
passion, did eat it with His Apostles, and commanded it 
to be kept in remembrance of Himself; which they con- 
sequently taught and observed in the Church, and com- 
manded to be kept by believers in remembrance of the 
sufferings and death of the Lord, and that His body was 
broken and His precious blood was shed for us and for 
the whole human family; as also the fruits thereof, 
namely, redemption and everlasting salvation, which He 
procured thereby, exhibiting so great love towards sin- 
ners by which they are greatly admonished to love one 
another, to love our neighbor, forgiving him as He has 
done unto us, and we are to strive to preserve the unity 
and fellowship which we have with God and with one 
another, which is also represented to us in the breaking 
of bread. 

XL Of Washing the Saints' Feet. — We also confess 
the washing of the saints' feet, which the Lord not only 
instituted and commanded, but He actually washed His 
Apostles' feet, although He was their Lord and Master, 
and gave them an example that they should wash one an- 
other's feet, and do as He had done unto them ; they, as a 
matter of course, taught the believers to observe this as 
a sign of true humility, and particularly as directing the 
mind by feet-washing to that right washing, by which we 
are washed in His blood and have our souls made pure. 

XII. Of Matrimony, or State of Marriage. — We 
confess that there is in the Church an honorable mar- 


riage between two believers, as God ordained it in the 
beginning in paradise, and instituted it between Adam 
and Eve ; as also the Lord Jesus Christ opposed and did 
away the abuses of marriage which had crept in, and 
restored it to its primitive institution. 

In this manner the Apostle Paul also taught marriage 
in the Church, and left it free for every one, according to 
its primitive institution, to be married in the Lord to any 
one who may consent ; by the phrase, in the Lord, we 
think it ought to be understood, that as the patriarchs had 
to marry among their own kindred or relatives, so like- 
wise the believers of the New Testament are not at liberty 
to marry except among the chosen generation and the 
spiritual kindred or relatives of Christ ; namely, such and 
no others as have been united to the Church as one 
heart and soul, having received baptism and stand in the 
same communion, faith, doctrine and conversation before 
they became united in marriage. Such are then joined 
together according to the original ordinance of God in 
His Church, and this is called marrying in the Lord. 

XIII. Of the Magistracy. — We believe and confess 
that God instituted and appointed authority and a magis- 
tracy for the punishing of the evildoers and to protect 
the good ; as also to govern the world, and preserve the 
good order of cities and countries ; hence, we dare not 
despise, gainsay or resist the same, but we must acknowl- 
edge the magistracy as the minister of God, be subject 
and obedient thereunto in all good works, especially in 
all things not repugnant to God's law, will and command- 
ment; also faithfully pay tribute and tax, and render that 
which is due, even as the Son of God taught and practiced 


and cornmanded His disciples to do ; that it is our duty 
constantly and earnestly to pray to the Lord for the gov- 
ernment, its prosperity and the welfare of the country, 
that we may live under its protection, gain a livelihood, 
and lead a quiet, peaceable life in all godliness and 
sobriety. And further, that the Lord may reward them 
in time and eternity for all the favors, benefits and the 
liberty we here enjoy under their praiseworthy adminis- 

XIV. Of Defense or Revenge. — As regards re- 
venge or defense, in which men resist their enemies with 
the sword, we believe and confess that the Lord Jesus 
Christ forbade His disciples, His followers, all revenge and 
defense, and commanded them, besides, not to render evil 
for evil, nor railing for railing, but to sheath their swords, 
or, in the words of the prophet, " to beat them into 

Hence it is evident, according to His example and doc- 
trine, that we should not provoke or do violence to any 
man, but we are to promote the welfare and happiness of 
all men; even, when necessary, to flee for the Lord's 
sake from one country to another and take patiently the 
spoiling of our goods, but to do violence to no man ; 
when we are smitten on one cheek to turn the other, 
rather than take revenge or resent evil. And, moreover, 
that we must pray for our enemies, feed and refresh them 
when they are hungry or thirsty, and thus convince them 
by kindness and overcome all ignorance. Finally, that 
we should do good and approve ourselves to the con- 
sciences of all men ; and, according to the law of Christ, 
do unto others as we would wish them to do unto us. 


XV. Of Oaths or Swearing, — Respecting judicial 
oaths, we believe and confess that Christ our Lord did 
forbid His disciples the use of them and commanded them 
that they should not swear at all, but that yea should 
be yea, and nay, nay. Hence we infer that all oaths, 
greater and minor, are prohibited ; and that we must, in- 
stead of oaths, confirm all our promises and assertions, 
nay, all our declarations or testimonies in every case, with 
the word yea in that which is yea, and with nay in that 
which is nay ; hence we should always and in all cases 
perform, keep, follow and live up to our word or engage- 
ment, as fully as if we had confirmed and established it 
by an oath. And we do this, we have the confidence 
that no man, not even the magistrate, will have just reason 
to lay a more grievous burden on our mind and con- 

XVI. Of Ecclesiastical Excommunication or Sep- 
aration from the Church. — We also believe and pro- 
fess a ban, excommunication, or separation and Christian 
correction in the Church, for amendment and not for 
destruction, whereby the clean or pure may be separated 
from the unclean or defiled. Namely, if anyone, after 
having been enlightened and has attained to the knowl- 
edge of the truth and has been received into the fellow- 
ship of the saints, sins either voluntarily or presump- 
tuously against God, or unto death, and falls into the 
unfruitful works of darkness, by which he separates him- 
self from God and is debarred His kingdom ; such a per- 
son, we believe, when the deed is manifest and the Church 
has sufficient evidence, ought not to remain in the con- 
gregation of the righteous, but shall and must be sep- 


arated as an offending member and an open sinner, be 
excommunicated and reproved in the presence of all and 
purged out as leaven ; and this is to be done for his own 
amendment and as an example and terror to others, 
that the Church be kept pure from such foul spots ; lest, 
in default of this, the name of the Lord be blasphemed, 
the Church dishonored and a stumbling-block and cause 
of offense be given to them that are without ; in fine, that 
the sinner may not be dammed with the world, but be- 
come convicted, repent and reform. 

Further, regarding brotherly reproof or admonition, as 
also the instruction of those who err, it is necessaiy to 
use all care and diligence to observe them, instructing 
them with all meekness to their own amendment, and 
reproving the obstinate, according as the case may re- 
quire. In short, that the Church must excommunicate 
him that sins either in doctrine or life, and no other. 

XVII. Of Shunning or Avoiding the Separated 
or Excommunicated — Touching the avoiding of the 
separated, we believe and confess that if any one has so 
far fallen off, either by a wicked life or perverted doctrine, 
that he is separated from God, and, consequently, is justly 
separated from and corrected or punished by the Church, 
such a person must be shunned, according to the doctrine 
of Christ and His Apostles, and avoided without partiality 
by all the members of the Church, especially by those to 
whom it is known, whether in eating or drinking, or 
other similar temporal matters, and they shall have no 
dealings with him ; to the end that they may not be con- 
taminated by intercourse with him, nor made partakers 
of his sins ; but that the sinner may be made ashamed, 
be convicted, and again led to repentance. 


That there be used, as well in the avoidance as in the 
separation, such moderation and Christian charity as may 
have a tendency not to promote his destruction, but to 
insure his reformation ; for if he is poor, hungry, thirsty, 
naked, sick or in distress, we are in duty bound, accord- 
ing to necessity and agreeably to love and to the 
doctrine of Christ and His Apostles, to render him aid 
and assistance ; otherwise, in such cases, the avoidance 
might tend more to his ruin than to his reformation. 

Hence we must not consider excommunicated mem- 
bers as enemies, but admonish them as brethren, in 
order to bring them to knowledge, repentance and sor- 
row for their sins, that they may be reconciled with God 
and His Church, and, of course, be received again into 
the Church, and so may continue in love toward him as 
his case demands. 

XVIII. Of the Resurrection of the Dead and 
the Last Judgment. — Relative to the resurrection of 
the dead, we believe and confess, agreeably to the Scrip- 
tures, that all men who have died and fallen asleep shall 
be awakened, quickened and raised on the last day by the 
incomprehensible power of God ; and that these, together 
with those that are then alive and who shall be changed 
in the twinkling of an eye, at the sound of the last 
trumpet, shall be placed before the judgment seat of 
Christ, and the good be separated from the wicked ; that 
then every one shall receive in his own body according 
to his works, whether they be good or evil, and that the 
good and pious shall be taken up with Christ as the 
blessed, enter into everlasting life, and obtain that joy 
which no eye hath seen, nor ear heard, nor mind con- 



ceived, to reign and triumph with Christ from everlasting 
to everlasting. And that, on the contrary, the wicked or 
impious shall be driven away as accursed, and thrust down 
into utter darkness nay, into everlasting pains of hell, where 
the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched ; and that 
they shall never have any prospect of hope, comfort or 

May the Lord grant that none of us may meet the 
fate of the wicked, but that we may take heed and be dili- 
gent, so that we may be found before Him in peace, 
without spot and blameless. Amen. 

Done and finished in our United Churches, in the city 
of Dortrecht, April 21st, A.D. 1632. Subscribed : 


Isaac de Koning, 
John Jacobs, 
Hans Corbryssen, 
Jaques Terwen, 
Nicholas Dirkspn, 
Mels Gylberts, 
Adriaan Cornelisson. 


Cornelius de Moir, 
Isaac Claasz. 


Dillaert Willeborts, 
Jacob Pennen, 
Lieven Marynehr. 


Jan Doom, 
Peter Gryspeer, 
Dirk W. Kolenkamp, 
Peter Joosten. 


Wilhelm J. von Exselt, 
Gispert Spiering % 


Balten C. Schumacher, 
Michael Michiels, 
Israel von Halmael, 
Heinrich D. Apeldoren, 

Andreas Lucken. 




Peter von Borsel, 
Anton Hans. 


Cornelius Jans, 
Dirk Rendersen. 


Tobias Gewerts, 
Peter Jansen Mayer, 
Abraham Dirks, 
David ter Haer, 
Peter Jan von Zingel. 


Bastian Willemsen, 
Jan Winkelmans. 


Cornelis Bom, 
Lambrecht Paeldink. 

Ley den. 

Christian Koenig, 
Jan Weyns. 


Herman Segers, 
Jan Heinrich Hochfeld, 
Daniel Horens, 
Abraham Spronk, 
W. von Brockhuysen. 


Herman op den Graff, 
Wilhelm Kreynen. 


Claes Claessen, 
Peter Petersen. 

Zurich Zee. 

Anton Cornelius, 
Peter E. Zimmermann. 


Jacob von Sebrecht, 
Jan J. von Kruysen. 

General Adoption of the Articles of Faith. 

The foregoing articles are received, accepted and main- 
tained by all the Mennonites' throughout the United 
States, Territories, and in Canada, wherever they have 
been dispersed ; for since the first immigration of the 
Mennonites to this country, they have been spread over 
a great portion of Pennsylvania. 

Bishops, elders or ministers and deacons are usually 
chosen by casting lots. In general, their pastors neither 
receive nor accept stipulated salaries, nor any kind of 
remuneration for preaching the Gospel, or in attending to 
the functions of their office. They are distinguished 
above all others for their plainness in dress, economy in 
their domestic arrangements, being frugal, thrifty, and 
withal very hospitable. They take in strangers; treat 
them kindly without charge. They suffer none of their 
members to become a public charge. Nothing can be 
purer and gentler than the inner motives of Mennoniteism. 
What thought so near the practice of the blessed Master 
and so far from the acrimony and bitterness of men, as 
their scruple which makes all" strife and warfare unchris- 
tian, and the iron purpose they have exhibited now for 
four centuries in maintaining their doctrine that the only 
genuine baptism could be that in which the matured con- 
sciousness of the individual took part ? Who dares to 
assail it as an inexorable prejudice? Then there is their 



brotherly charity, which counts it so unworthy to leave 
their poor to be cared for even by the public institutions 
which their toil most largely contributes to maintain. 

Hannibal is said to have complained that he made his- 
tory, but the Romans wrote it. So the history of the 
subjects of this sketch has hitherto been written almost 
exclusively by their enemies (see E. K. Martin's Sketches, 
p. 17). The Roman Catholics and the large Protest- 
ant denominations, the Lutherans, the Reformed, and 
even Episcopalians have been characterized by jealousy 
towards new sects. To this day the State Churches of 
Europe look down with disdain upon " the Separatists." 
In the noisy clamor for worldly recognition the Men- 
nonites have fared ill indeed. The story of the suffering 
Puritans, which at most extended over a few generations 
and a small area of territory, has been told and re-told 
with almost distressing particularity. There is not an 
event or object, from the departure at Delfthaven to the 
chair of Carver and the pot and platter of Miles Standish, 
that has not been held up to veneration, by poet, painter 
and orator. Even the German school boy is taught to re- 
gard these Pilgrim sacrifices of a handful of Englishmen as 
the noblest ever laid upon the altar of conscience and hu- 
manity. Yet if he but turned to the history of his own 
ancestors and read there the story of sufferings, persecu- 
tions, stout abnegation through eight centuries, in which 
cruel selfishness and heartless bigotry assumed the ward- 
ship of conscience, he would find the trials of these Puri- 
tans, great as they were, compared with the trials of his 
own people but the waters of Marah beside the plagues 
of Egypt; and while New England to-day laments the loss 
of its sons, swept into the vortex of national life setting 


westward, in danger of losing her distinctive characteris- 
tics by the Teutonic and Celtic influences that are 
clambering into their places, complaining that her stony 
acres must soon be tilled by an alien race or left barren 
and valueless, the Mennonite lands of Eastern Pennsylva- 
nia still remain in the descendants of the first hardy stock, 
who hold them by ancient indentures, supplemented by 
grant from father to son, reaching backward in one ever 
strengthening chain of titles to the original patents of 
Penn, implanting in a glorious Commonwealth a true 
conservatism, and adorning it continually with renewed 
evidences of prosperity and thrift. 

The Lutherans have a well-defined literature which pre- 
serves their achievements in Church and State. The Re- 
formed Church of Germany and Switzerland points with 
pardonable pride to the "triumphs of Calvin, Zwingli and 
Ursinus, and a literature which has preserved the almost 
sacred teachings of their scholars and martyrs to our own 
time. The Presbyterian will show you in Edinburgh 
the monument of Margaret Wilson, who, fastened to a 
stake driven in the sands where the Gal way overflowed 
by the tide, was sustained by her lofty enthusiasm until 
the waves drowned her prayers and the waters chokecf 
her songs, and who tasted this death unflinchingly for 
the faith that was in her. The Moravians will tell you 
how the ashes of Huss were borne on the bosom of the 
Rhine to the Scheldt, and on the bosom of the Scheldt 
to the sea, fit type of the great missionary work they 
were to record in the annals of every tongue and people 
and clime. 

But the poor Mennonites, in journeyings oftener, in 
perils of robbers, in perils by their own countrymen, in 


perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the 
wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false 
brethren, in weariness and painfulness, in watchings, in 
hunger and thirst, in fastings, in cold and nakedness, the 
thousandth part of which can never be known, who have 
gone through the centuries their silent and uncomplaining 
way, believing that the glory of this world was but the 
mammon of unrighteousness, that it was enough for Him 
to know their deeds by whom the hairs of the head are 
numbered, and without whose knowledge the sparrow 
falls not to the earth — their story is yet untold.* 

* For the above I feel greatly indebted to E. H. Martin, of the Lancaster 

King Charles II and William Penn. 

We now come to where the widening influences of this 
people touch the rim of our own age and history. 

On the 4th of March, 1681, Charles II, of England, 
granted William Penn a great tract of land in the New 
World. Penn was a Quaker. The Quakers may be 
called the Mennonites of England, or English Menno- 
nites. Professor Oswald Seidensticker, an eminent Ger- 
man-American authority, thus treats of their relationship: 
" The affinity between the religious principles of the 
Friends and the Mennonites is so obvious, and in many 
respects so striking, that an actual descent of the former 
from the latter has been hinted at as highly probable." 
"So clearly," says Barkley, "do their views (i. e., those 
of the Mennonites) correspond with those of George Fox, 
that we are compelled to view him as the unconscious 
exponent of the doctrine, practice and discipline of the 
ancient and stricter parties of the Dutch Mennonites." 
Arguments are cumulative on this point, but cannot be 
indulged in here. 

It is certain that the two visits of William Penn to 
Holland and Germany in the years 1671 and 1677, and 
his contact with the Mennonites there, had much to do 
with preparing his philanthropic mind for erecting an 
asylum for the persecuted of all classes in the New 

The following poem is from the Latin of Daniel Francis 
Pastorius in the Germantown Records, 1688, first published 
by Professor Oswald Seidensticker : 



Hail to posterity ! 
Hail, future men of Germanopolis ! 
Let the young generations yet to be 

Look kindly upon this. 
Think how your fathers left their native land, 
Dear German land, O ! sacred hearts and homes ! 
And where the wild beasts roam 

In patience planned 
New forest homes beyond the mighty sea, 

There undisturbed and free 
To live as brothers of one family. 

What pains and cares befell, 

What trials and what fears, 
Remember, and wherein we have done well 
Follow our footsteps, men of coming years ; 

Where we have failed to do 

Aright, or wisely live, 
Be warned by us, the better way pursue. 
And knowing we were human, even as you, 

Pity us and forgive. 

Farewell, Posterity ; 

Farewell, dear Germany, 

Forever more farewell ! — Whittier. 

When the history of Pennsylvania comes to be thor- 
oughly understood, it will be found that the Dutchman, 
as he is generally called, occupies a position by no means 
so inconspicuous as that which the most of us are apt to 
assign to him. Every one is willing to admit that to 
him is due much of the material prosperity for which this 
State is so noted, that his hogs are fat, his butter is sweet, 
his lands are welktilled, and his barns are capacious. 
But the claims that there is anything distinguished in his 
origin or brilliant in his career is seldom made, and that 
he has approached his English associates in knowledge 
of politics, literature or science, those of us who get our 
Saxon blood by way of the Mersey and the Thames 


would quickly deny. The facts which tell in his favor, 
however, are many and striking. Pastorius possessed 
probably more literary attainments and produced more 
literary work than any other of the early emigrants to 
this province, and he alone of them all, through the 
appreciative delineation of a New England poet, has a per- 
manent place in the literature of our own time. Willem 
Rittinghuysen, the first Mennonite minister known in 
America, came to Germantown in 1688,* and in 1690 
built on a branch of the Wissahickon Creek the first 
paper mill in the Colonies. The Bible was printed in 
German in America thirty-nine years before it appeared 
in English.. The first edition of Christopher Saur's quarto 
Bible was completed on the 16th of August, 1743, con- 
sisting of one thousand copies; a second edition in 1763 
of two thousand copies, and a third edition in 1776 of 
three thousand copies. The first English Bible printed in 
America was the Aitkins' Bible, printed in 1782, the New 
Testament of which was printed in 1781. The Douay or 
Catholic Bible was printed in 1790. The first Protestant or 
King James Bible in quarto was printed by Isaac Collins 
at Trenton, and was completed in June, 1791. Isaiah 
Thomas, of Worcester, Massachusetts, also undertook to 
publish Folio and Royal quarto editions of the Eng- 
lish Bible, and both editions were finished in December, 
1 79 1 (frot/i original documents in possession of A. H. Cassel). 
No other known literary work undertaken in the Colonies 
equals in magnitude the Mennonite " Martyr's Mirror" by 
Van Braght, printed at Ephrata in 1748, whose publi- 
cation required the labors of fifteen men for three years. 

* From New Amsterdam ; probably he lived there a few years. 

Settlement of Germantown. 

An examination of the earliest settlement of the Ger- 
mans in Pennsylvania, and a study of the causes which 
produced it, may, therefore, well be of interest to all who 
appreciate the value of our State history. The first im- 
pulse followed by the first wave of immigration came from 
Crefeld, a city of the lower Rhine, within a few miles of 
the borders of Holland. On the ioth of March, 1682, 
William Penn conveyed to Jacob Telner, of Crefeld, doing 
business as a merchant in Amsterdam, Jan Streypers, a 
merchant of Kaldkirchen, a village in the vicinity, still 
nearer to Holland, and Dirk Sipman, of Crefeld, each five 
thousand acres of land to be laid out in Pennsylvania. As 
the deeds were executed upon that day, the design must 
have been in contemplation and the arrangements made 
some time before. Telner had been in America between 
the years 1678 and 168 1, and we may safely say that his 
acquaintance with the country had much influence in 
bringing about the purchase. In November, 1682, we find 
the earliest reference to the enterprise which subsequently 
resulted in the formation of the Frankfort Company. At 
that date Pastorius heard of it for the first time, and he, 
as agent, bought the lands when in London between the 
8th of May and 6th of June, 1683 (Pastorius MS. in the 
Historical Society of Pa). The eight original purchasers 
were Jacob Van de Walle, Dr. Johann Jacob Schutz, 
4 (49) 


Johann Wilhclm Ubcrfcldt, Daniel Behagel, Casper Merian, 
George Strauss, Abraham Hasevoet and Jan Laurens, an 
intimate friend of Telner, apparently living at Rotterdam. 
Before November 12th, 1683, on which day, in the lan- 
guage of the Manatawny patent, they " formed themselves 
into a company", the last named four had withdrawn and 
their interest had been taken by Francis Daniel Pas- 
torius, the celebrated Johanna Eleanora von Merlau, 
wife of Dr. Johann Wilhelm Peterson, Dr. Gerhard von 
Mastricht, Dr. Thomas von Wylich, Johannes Lebrun, 
Balthaser Jawert and Dr. Johannes Kemler. 

That this was the date of the organization of the com- 
pany is also recited in the power of attorney which they 
executed in 1700.* Up to the 8th of June, 1683, they 
seem to have bought 15,000 acres of land, which were 
afterwards increased to 25,000 acres. Of the eleven 
members nearly all were followers of the pietist Spener, 
and five of them lived at Frankfort, two in Wesel, two 
in Lubeck and one in Duisbenj. Though to this com- 
pany has generally been ascribed the settlement of Ger- 
mantown, and with it the credit of being the originators 
of German emigration, no one of its members, except 
Pastorius, ever came to Pennsylvania, and of still more 
significance is the fact that, so far as known, no one of 
the early emigrants to Pennsylvania came from Frankfort. 
On the nth of June, 1683, Penn conveyed to Govert 
Remke, Lenart Arets and Jacob Isaacs Van Bebber, a 
Daker, all of Crefeld, one thousand acres of land each, and 
they, together with Telner, Streypers and Sipman, con- 
stituted the original Crefeld purchasers. It is evident 

* Both the original agreement and the letter of attorney, with their auto- 
graphs and seals, are in the possession of Samuel W. Pennypacker. 


that their purpose was colonization and not speculation. 
The arrangement between Penn and Sipman provided 
that a certain number of families should go to Pennsyl- 
vania within a specified time, and probably the other 
purchasers entered into similar stipulations (see Dutch 
deed from Sipman to Peter Schumacher in the German- 
town Book in the Recorder's Office). However that may 
be, ere long thirteen men with their families, comprising 
thirty-three persons, nearly all of whom were relatives, 
were ready to embark to seek new homes across the 
ocean. They were Lenart Arets, Abraham Op den Graefif, 
Dirk Op den Graefif, Herman Op den Graeff, Willem 
Streypers, Thones Kunders, Reynier Tyson, Jan Seimans, 
Jan Lensen, Peter Keurlis, Johannes Bleikers, Jan Lucken 
and Abraham Tunes. The three Op den GraefT's were 
brothers. Herman was a son in-law of Van Bebber, ac- 
companied by their sister Margaretha, and they were 
cousins of Jan and Willem Streypers, who were also 
brothers. The wives of Thones Kunders and Lenart 
Arets were sisters of the Streypers, and the wife of Jan 
was the sister of Reynier Tyson. Peter Keurlis was also 
a near relative, and the location of the signature of Jan 
Lucken and Abraham Tunes on the certificate of the 
marriage of a son of Thones Kunders with a daughter of 
Willem Streypers in 1710, indicates that they too were 
connected with the group by family ties (Streeper MSS. in 
the Historical Society). On the 7th of June, 1683, Jan 
Streypers and Jan Lensen entered into an agreement at 
Crefeld, by the terms of which Streypers was to let Lensen 
have fifty acres of land at a rent of a rix dollar and half a 
stuyver, and to lend him fifty rix dollars for eight years 
at the interest of six rix dollars annually. Lensen was 


to transport himself and wife to Pennsylvania, to clear 
eight acres of Streyper's land and to work for him twelve 
days in each year for eight years. 

The agreement proceeds : " I further promise to lend 
him a linen-weaving stool with three combs and he 
shall have said weaving stool for two years . . and for 
this Jan Lensen shall teach my son Leonard in one 
year the art of weaving, and Leonard shall be bound to 
weave faithfully during said year." On the 18th of June 
the little colony were in Rotterdam, whither they were 
accompanied by Jacob Telner, Dirk Sipman and Jan 
Streypers, and there many of their business arrange- 
ments were completed. Telner conveyed two thousand 
acres of land to the brothers Op den Graeff, and Sipman 
made Herman Op den Graeff his attorney. Jan Strey- 
pers conveyed one hundred acres to his brother Willem, 
and to Seimens and Keurlis each two hundred acres. 
Bleikers and Lucken each bought two hundred acres 
from Benjamin Furly, agent for the purchasers at Frank- 
fort. At this time James Claypoole, a Quaker merchant 
in London, who had previously had business relations of 
some kind with Telner, was about to remove with his 
family to Pennsylvania, intending to sail in the Concord, 
William Jeffries, master, a vessel of five hundred tons 
burthen. Through him a passage from London was 
engaged for them in the same vessel, which was expected 
to leave Gravesend on the 6th of July, and the money 
was paid in advance.* It is now ascertained definitely 
that eleven of these thirteen emigrants were from Crefeld, 
and the presumption that their two companions, Jan 
Lucken and Abraham Tunes, came from the same city 

* Letter Book of James Claypoole in the Historical Society. 


is consequently strong (S. W. Pennypacker). This pre- 
sumption is increased by the indications of relationship, 
and the fact that the wife of Jan Seimens was Merken 
Williamsen Lucken. Unfortunately, however, we are 
wanting in evidence of a general character. Pastorius, 
after having an interview with Telner at Rotterdam, a few 
weeks earlier, accompanied by four servants,' who seem 
to have been Jacob Schumacher, Isaac Dilbeeck, George 
Wertmiiller and Koenradt Rutters, had gone to America, 
representing both the purchasers at Frankfort and Cre- 
feld. In his references to the places at which he stopped 
on his journey down the Rhine he nowhere mentions 
emigrants, except at Crefeld, where he says : " I talked 
with Tunes Kunders and his wife, Dirk, Herman and 
Abraham Op den Graeff, and many others, who six 
weeks later followed me " {Pastorius MS). For some 
reason the emigrants were delayed between Rotterdam 
and London, and Claypoole was in great uneasiness for 
fear the vessel should be compelled to sail without them, 
and they should lose their passage money. He wrote 
several letters about them to Benjamin Furly at Rotter- 
dam. June 19th he says : " I am glad to hear the Crevill 
ffriends are coming." July 3d he says : " Before I goe 
away wch now is like to be longer than we expected by 
reason of the Crevill friends not coming we are fain to 
loyter and keep the ship still at Blackwell upon one pre- 
tence or another," and July 10th he says : " It troubles 
me much that the friends from Crevillt are not yet come." 
As he had the names of the thirty-three persons, this 
contemporary evidence is very strong, and it would seem 
safe to conclude that all of this pioneer band, which, with 
Pastorius, founded Germantown, came from Crefeld. 


Henry Melchior Muhlenberg says the first comers were 
Plattdeutsch from the neighborhood of Cleeves (Hallische 
Nachrjchten). Despite the forebodings of Claypoole, the 
emigrants reached London in time for the Concord, and 
they set sail westward on the 24th of July, 1683. While 
they were for the first time experiencing the dangers and 
trials of a voyage across the ocean, doubtless sometimes 
looking back with regret, but oftener wistfully and won- 
deringly forward, let us return to inquire who these 
people were who were willing to abandon forever the 
old homes and old friends along the Rhine, and com- 
mence new lives with the wolf and the savage in the 
forests upon the shores of the Delaware. 

Origin of the Sect of Mennonites. 

As the origin of the sect of Mennonites is somewhat 
involved in obscurity, their opponents, following Sleid- 
anus and other writers of the sixteenth century, have 
reproached them with being an outgrowth of the Ana- 
baptists of Munster. On the contrary, their own his- 
torians, Mehrning, Van Braght, Schynn, Maatschoen and 
Roosen, trace their theological and lineal descent from 
the Waldenses, some of whose congregations are said to 
have existed from the earliest Christian times, and who 
were able to maintain themselves in obscure parts of 
Europe against the power of Rome, in large numbers, 
from the twelfth century downward. The subject has 
of recent years received thorough and philosophical 
treatment at the hands of S. Blaupot Ten Cate, a 
Dutch historian.* The theory of the Waldensian origin 
is based mainly on a certain similarity in creed and Church 
observances ; the fact that the Waldeness are known 
to have been numerous in those portions of Holland and 
Flanders, where the Mennonites arose and throve, and to 
have afterward disappeared, the ascertained descent of 
some Mennonite families from Waldenses, and a marked 
similarity in habits and occupations. This last fact is 

* Geschiedkundig Onderzock naar den Waldenzischen oorsprung van de 
Nederlandsche Doopsgezinden, Amsterdam, 1844. 



especially interesting in our investigation, as will be here- 
after seen. 

The Waldenses carried the art of weaving from Flan- 
ders into Holland, and so generally followed that trade 
as in many localities to have gone by the name of Tis- 
serandSy or weavers (see Ten Cate's Onderzock, p. 42). It 
is not improbable that the truth lies between the two 
theories of friend and foe, and that the Baptist movement, 
which swept through Germany and the Netherlands in 
the early part of the sixteenth century, gathered into its 
embrace many of these communities of Waldenses. At 
the one extreme of this movement were Thomas Miinzer, 
Bernhard Rothman, Jean Matthys and John, of Leyden ; 
at the other were Menno Simons, Dirk Philips and 
Casper Schwenkfeld. Between them stood Battenburg 
and David Joris, of Delft. The common ground of them 
all, and about the only ground which they had in com- 
mon, was opposition to the baptism of infants. 

Menno Simons was educated for the priesthood, and 
entered upon its duties early in life. The beheading of 
Sicke Snyder for re-baptism in the year 1531 in his near 
neighborhood, called his attention to the subject of infant 
baptism, and after a careful examination of the Bible and 
the writings of Luther and Zwinglius, he came to the con- 
clusion there was no foundation for it in the Scriptures. 
He left the Catholic Church in 1536. Ere long he began 
to be recognized as the leader of the Taufgesinnte, and 
gradually the sect assumed from him the name of Men- 
nonites. His first book was a dissertation against the 
errors and delusions in the teachings of John of Leyden, 
and after a convention held at Buckhold in Westphalia, 
in 1538, at which Battenburg and David Joris were 


present, and Menno and Dirk Philips were represented, 
the influence of the fanatical Anabaptists seems to have 
waned. (See Nippolds Life of David Jon's; Rooseiis 
Menno Simons, p. 32). His entire works, published at 
Amsterdam in 1861, make a folio volume of 642 pages. 
Luther and Calvin stayed their hands at a point where 
power and influence would have been lost, but the Dutch 
reformer, Menno, far in advance of his time, taught the 
complete severance of Church and State, and the princi- 
ples of religious liberty, which have been embodied in our 
own federal constitution, were first worked out in Hol- 
land.* The Mennonites believed that no baptism was 
efficacious unless accompanied by repentance, and that 
the ceremony administered to infants was vain. Their 
meetings were held in secret places, often in the middle of 
the night, and in order to prevent possible exposure 
under the pressure of pain, they purposely avoided know- 
ing the names of the brethren whom they met, and of the 
preachers who baptized them. (See Van Braghfs Mar- 
tyrer Spiegel}) A reward of one hundred gold guilders 
was offered for Menno ; malefactors were promised par- 
don if they should capture him. Tjaert Ryndertz was 
put on the wheel in 1539 for having given him shelter, 
and a house in which his wife and children had rested, 
unknown to its owner, was confiscated. He was, as his 
followers fondly thought, miraculously protected however, 
died peacefully in 1559, and was buried in his own gar- 
den. The natural result of this persecution was much 
dispersion. The prosperous communities of Hamburg 

* Barclay's Religious Societies of the Commomoelth, pp. 78, 676; Men- 
no's " Exhortation to all in Authority" Funk's edition, Vol. I, p. 75; Vol. 
2, p. 303- 


and Altona were founded by refugees. The first Mennort- 
ites in Prussia fled there from the Netherlands, and others 
found their way up the Rhine. (See Life of Gerhard 
Roose?i,p. 5.) Crefeld is chiefly noted for its manufactures of 
silk, linen and other woven goods, and these manufac- 
tures were first established by persons fleeing from relig- 
ious intolerance. 

From the Mennonites sprang the general Baptist 
churches of England, the first of them having an ecclesi- 
astical connection with the parent societies in Holland, 
and their organizers being Englishmen, who, as has been 
discovered, were actual members of the Mennonite 
Church at Amsterdam. (See Barclay 's Religions Societies, 
PP- 7 2 > 73> 95-) ^ was f° r tne benefit of these English- 
men that the well-known Confession of Faith* of Hans 
de Ries and Lubbert Gerritz was written, and according 
to the late Robert Barclay, whose valuable work bears 
every evidence of the most thorough and careful research, 
it was from association with these early Baptist teachers 
that George Fox, the founder of the Quakers, imbibed 
his views. Says Barclay : " We are compelled to view 
him as the unconscious exponent of the doctrine, prac- 
tice and discipline of the ancient and stricter party of the 
Dutch Mennonites." (Barclay, p. jy) If this be correct, 
to the spread of Mennonite teachings we owe the origin 

* The preface to that Confession, Amsterdam, 1686, says : " Ter cause, 
also daer eenige Englishe uyt Engeland gevlucht ware, om de vryheyd der 
Religie alhier te genieten, en alsoo sy een schriftelijcke confessie {van de 
voomoemde) hebben begeert, want veele van hare gheselschap inde Duytsche 
Tale onervaren zijnde, het selfde niet en konde verstaen, ende als dan konde 
de ghene die de Tale beyde verstonde de andere onderrechten, het welche 
oock niet onvruchtbaer en is ghebleven, want na overlegh der saecke zijn sy 
met de voernoemde Gemeente vereenight." 


of the Quakers and the settlement of Pennsylvania. The 
doctrine of the inner light was by no means a new one 
in Holland and Germany, and the dead letter of the Scrip- 
tures is a thought common to David Joris, Casper 
Schwenkfeldt and the modern Quaker. The similarity 
between the two sects has been manifest to all observers, 
and recognized by themselves. William Penn, writing to 
James Logan, of some emigrants in 1709, says : " Here- 
with cotnes the Palatines, whom use with tenderness and 
love, and fix them so that they may send over an agree- 
able character ; for they are a sober people, divers Men- 
nonists, and will neither swear nor fight. See that Guy 
has used them well." Thomas Chalkley, writing from 
Holland the same year, says: "There is a great people 
which they call Mennonists, who are very near to truth, 
and the fields are white unto harvest among that people, 
spiritually speaking." When Ames, Caton, Stubbs, 
Penn and others of the early Friends went to Holland 
and Germany, they were received with the utmost kind- 
ness by the Mennonites, which is in strong contrast with 
their treatment at the hands of the established Churches. 
The strongest testimony of this character, however, is 
given by Thomas Story, the recorder of deeds in Penn- 
sylvania, who made a trip to Holland and Germany in 
171 5. There he preached in the Mennonite meeting- 
houses at Hoorn, Holfert, Drachten, Goredyke, Herveen, 
Jever, Oudeboone, Grow, Leeuwarden, Dokkum and Hen- 
leven, while at Malkwara no meeting was held because 
"a person of note among the Menists being departed this 
life," and none at Saardem because of " the chief of the 
Menists being over at Amsterdam." These meetings 
were attended almost exclusively by Mennonites and 


they entertained him at their homes. One of their 
preachers he describes as " convinced o£ truth," and of 
another he says that after a discourse of several hours 
about religion they "had no difference." Jacob Nordyke, 
of Harlingen, "a Menist and friendly man," accompanied 
the party on their journey, and when the wagon broke 
down near Oudeboone he went ahead on foot to prepare 
a meeting. The climax of this staid, good fellowship was 
capped, however, at Grow. Says Story in his journal : 
" Hemine Gosses, their preacher, came to us, and taking 
me by the hand he embraced me and saluted me with 
several kisses, which I readily answered, for he ex- 
pressed much satisfaction before the people, and received 
us gladly, inviting us to take a dish of tea with him. 
He showed us his garden and gave us of his grapes to 
eat, but first of all a dram lest we should take cold after 
the exercise of the meeting, and treated us as if he had 
been a Friend, from which he is not far, having been as 
tender as any at the meeting." 

William Sewel, the historian, was a Mennonite (says 
Pennypacker), and it certainly was no accident that the 
first two Quaker histories were written in Holland 
{Sewel and Gerhard Creese). It was among the Men- 
nonites they made their converts [Sewel, Barclay and 
Seidenslickcr). In fact, transition between the two sects 
both ways was easy. Quakers became members of the 
Mennonite Church at Crefeld {Life of Gerhard Roosen, p. 
66), and at Harlem {Story's Journal, pp. 490), and in the 
reply which Peter Henrichs and Jacob Claus, of Amster- 
dam, made in 1679 to a pamphlet by Heinrich Kassel, a 
Mennonite preacher at Krisheim they quote him as say- 
ing " that the so-called Quakers, especially here in the 


Palatinate, have fallen off and gone out from the Men- 

These were the people who, some as Mennonites and 
others, perhaps, as recently converted Quakers, after 
being unresistingly driven up and down the Rhine for a 
century and a half, were ready to come to the wilds of 
America. Of the six original purchasers, Jacob Telner 
and Jacob Isaacs Van Bebber are known to have been 
members of the Mennonite Church ; Govert Remke 
(Johann Remke was the Mennonite preacher at Crefeld in 
1752), January 14th, 1686, sold his land to Dirk Sipman, 
and had little to do with the emigration; Sipman selected 
as his attorneys here, at various times, Hermann Op den 
Graeff, Hendrick Sellen and Van Bebber, all of whom 
were Mennonites ; and Jan Streypers was represented 
also by Sellen, was a cousin of the Op den Graeffs and 
was the uncle of Hermannus and Arnold Kuster, two of 
the most active of the early Pennsylvania members of 
that sect. Of the emigrants Dirk, Herman and Abraham 
Op den Graeff were Mennonites, and were grandsons of 
Hermann Op den Graeff, the delegate from Crefeld to the 
Council which met at Dortrecht in 1632 and adopted a 
Confession of Faith, f Many of the others, as we have 
seen, were connected with the Op den Graeffs by family 
ties. Jan Lensen was a member of the Mennonite 
Church here. Jan Lucken bears the same name as the 
engraver who illustrated the edition of Van Braght, pub- 

* This rare and valuable pamphlet is in the library of A. H. Cassel, at 

f Scheuten Genealogy in the possession of Miss Elizabeth Muller, of 
Crefeld, Extracts from MS. which begins with the year 1562 to Frederick 
Muller, the celebrated antiquary and bibliophile of Amsterdam. 


lished in 1685, and others of the books of the Mennonite 
Church, and the Dutch Bible which he brought with him 
is a. copy of the third edition of Nicolaes Biestkens, the 
first Bible published by the Mennonites.* Lenart Arets, 
a follower of David Joris, was beheaded at Poeldyk 
in 1535. The name Tunes occurs frequently on the 
name lists of the Mennonite preachers about the time of 
this emigration, and Hermann Tunes was a member of 
the first church in Pennsylvania. This evidence, good 
as far as it goes, but not complete, is strengthened by the 
statement of Mennonite writers and others upon both 
sides of the Atlantic. Roosen tells us " William Penn 
had, in the year 1683, invited the Mennonites to settle in 
Pennsylvania. Soon many from the Netherlands went 
over and settled in and about Germantown." Funk, in 
his account of the first church, says : " Upon the invita- 
tion of William Penn to our distressed forefathers in the 
faith, it is said a number of them emigrated either from 
Holland or the Palatinate and settled in Germantown in 
1683, and there established the first church in America." 
Rupp asserts that " in Europe they had been sorely per- 
secuted, and, on the invitation of the liberal-minded 
William Penn, they transported themselves and families 
into the Province of Pennsylvania as early as 1683." 
Those who came that year and in 1698 settled in and 
about Germantown. Says Haldeman : " Whether the 
first Taufgesinneten, or Mennonites, came from Holland 
or Switzerland I have no certain ^information, but they 
came in the year 1683." Richard Townsend, an eminent 

* The Bible now belongs to Abel Lukens, of North Wales, Montgomery 
County, Pennsylvania, 


Quaker preacher, who came over in the "Welcome" and 
settled a mile from Germantown, calls them a " religious, 
good people," but he does not say they were Friends, as 
he probably would have done had the facts justified it. 
{Hazard's Register, Vol. 6, p. 198.) Abraham, Dirk and 
Hermann Op den Graeff, Lenart Arets, Abraham Tunes 
and Jan Lensen were linen weavers, and in 1686 Jan 
Streypers wrote to his brother Willem inquiring " who 
has wove my yarns, how many ells long and how broad 
the cloth made from it, and through what fineness of comb 
it has been through." (Deeds, Strype/s MSS) 

Arrival of Mennonites at Germantown. 

The pioneers had a pleasant voyage and reached Phila- 
delphia on the 6th of October, 1683. In the language 
of Claypoole : " The blessing of the Lord did attend us 
so that we had a very comfortable passage and had our 
health all the way (Claypoole 's Letter Book). Unto Johan- 
nes Bleikers a son Peter was born while at sea. Cold 
weather was approaching and they had little time to waste 
in idleness or curiosity. On the 12th of the same month 
a warrant was issued to Pastorius for six thousand acres 
" on behalf of the German and Dutch purchasers." On 
the 24th Thomas Fairman measured off fourteen divi- 
sions of land, and the next day meeting together in the 
cave of Pastorius they drew lots for the choice of loca- 
tion. Under the warrant 5,350 acres were laid out May 
2d, 1684, having been allotted and shared out by the said 
Francis Daniel Pastorius, as trustee for them and by their 
own consent to the German and Dutch purchasers, after 
named as their respective several and distinct dividends, 
whose names and quantities of the said land they and the 
said Pastorius did desire might be herein inserted and 
set down, viz. : The first purchaser of Frankfort, Ger- 
many, Jacobus Van de Walle 535, Johan Jacob Schutz 
428, Johan Wilhelm Uberfeld 107, Daniel Behagel 3567^, 
George Strauss 178^, Jan Laurens 535, Abraham Hase- 



voet 535, in all 2,675 acres of land. The first purchasers 
of Crefeld in Germany, Jacob Telner 989, Jan Streypers 
275, Dirk Sipman 5&8, Govert Remke 161, Lenert Arets 
501, Jacob Isaacs 161, in all 2,675 acres." In addition 200 
acres were laid out for Pastorius in his own right, and 
150 to Jurian Hartsfelder, a stray Dutchman or German, 
who had been a deputy sheriff under Andross in 1676, 
and who now cast his lot in with the settlers at German- 
town. (Exemplification Records, Vol. 1, p. 61. It is also 
said that Heinrich Frcy* was here before the landing of 
Penn.) Immediately after the division in the cave of 
Pastorius they began to dig the cellars and build the huts 
in which, not without much hardship, they spent the 
following winter. Thus commenced the settlement of 
Germantown. Pastorius tells us that some people were 
making a pun upon the name and called it Armentown, 
because of their lack of supplies, and adds, " it could not 
be described, nor would it be believed by coming genera- 
tions, in what want and need and with what Christian 
contentment and persistent industry this Germantownship 
started." Willem Streypers wrote over to his brother 
Jan on the 20th of second month, 1684, that he was 
already on Jan's lot to clear and sow it and make a dwell- 
ing, but that there was nothing in hand and he must 
have a year's provision, to which in due time Jan replied 
by sending a "box with 3 combs and 5 shirts and a 
small parcel with iron ware for a weaving stool," and 
telling him " to let Jan Lensen weave a piece of cloth to 
sell and apply it to your use." 

* Heinrich Frey and Joseph Blattenbach were the two first German emi- 
grants who came to Pennsylvania. They emigrated in 1680 and settled 
in Philadelphia. {Hallische Nachrichten.) 



In better spirits Willem wrote October 22d, 1684: "I 
have been busy and made a brave dwelling house, and 
under it a cellar fit to live in, and have so much grain, 
such as Indian Corn and Buckwheat that this winter I 
shall be better off than what I was last year."* 
, Other emigrants ere long began to appear in the little 
town. Cornelis Bom, a Dutch baker, whom Claypoole 
mentions in association with Telner, and who bears the 
same name as a delegate from Schiedam to the Menno- 
nite convention at Dortrecht, arrived in Philadelphia 
before Pastorius. David Scherkes, perhaps from Miihl- 
heim on the Ruhr, and Walter Seimens and Isaac Jacobs 
Van Bebber, both from Crefeld, w r ere in Germantown, 
November 8th, 1684. Van Bebber was a son of Jacob 
Isaacs Van Bebber, and was followed by his father and 
brother Matthias in 1687. Jacob Telner, the second of 
the six original Crefeld purchasers to cross the Atlantic, 
reached New York after a tedious voyage of twelve weeks' 
duration, and from there he wrote December 12th, 1684, 
to Jan Laurens, of Rotterdam, that his wife and daughter 
were "in good health and fat," that he had made a trip 
to Pennsylvania, which " he found a beautiful land with 
a healthy atmosphere, excellent fountains and springs 
running through it, beautiful trees, from which can be ob- 
tained better firewood than the turf of Holland," and that 
he intended to take his family there the following spring, f 
He seems to have been the central figure of the whole 
emigration. As a merchant in Amsterdam his business 

* Streeper MSS. 

f Two letters in Dutch from Bom and Telner to Jan Laurens were 
printed in Rotterdam in 1685. The only known copy is in the Moravian 
Archives at Bethlehem. 


was extensive. He had transactions with the Quakers 
in London, and friendly relations with some of the people 
in New York. One of the earliest to buy lands here, we 
find him meeting Pastorius immediately prior to the 
latter's departure, doubtless to give instructions, and later 
personally superintending the emigration of the Colonists. 
During his thirteen years' residence in Germantown his 
relations, both in a business and social way with the prin- 
cipal men in Philadelphia, were apparently close and in- 
timate. Penn wrote to Logan in 1703: "I have been 
much pressed by Jacob Telner concerning Rebecca Ship- 
pen's business in the town."* Both Robert Turner and 
Samuel Carpenter acted as his attorneys. He and his 
daughter Susanna were present at the marriage of Francis 
Rawle and Martha Turner in 1689, and witnessed their 
certificate. The harmonious blending of the Mennonite 
and the Quaker is nowhere better shown than in the fact 
of his accompanying John Delavall on a preaching and 
proselyting tour to New England in 1692. He was the 
author of a " Treatise" in quarto, mentioned by Pastorius, 
and extracts from his letters to Laurens were printed at 
Rotterdam in 1685 (MS. Historical Society). About 1692 
he appears to have published a paper in the controversy 
with George Keith, charging him with " impious blas- 
phemy and denying the Lord that bought him."t He 
was one of the first burgesses of Germantown, the most 
extensive landholder there, and promised to give ground 
enough for the erection of a market house, a promise, 

* Smith's History, Hazard's Register, Vol. 6, p. 309. Smith adopts him 
as a Friend, but in his own letter of 1 709, written while he was living among 
the Quakers in England, he calls himself a Mennonite. 

f A True Account of the Sense and Advice of the People called Quakers. 


which we will presume, he fulfilled. In 1698 he went to 
London, where he was living as a merchant as late as 
17 1 2, and from there, in 1709, he wrote to Rotterdam 
concerning the miseries of some emigrants, six of whom 
were Mennonites from the Palatinate who had gone that 
far on their journey and were unable to proceed. "The 
English friends who are called Quakers," he says, had 
given material assistance.* Doubtless European re- 
search would throw much light on his career. He was 
baptized at the Mennonite church in Amsterdam, March 
29th, 1665. His only child, Susanna, married Albertus 
Brandt, a merchant of Germantown and Philadelphia, and 
after the death of her first husband, in 1701, she married 
David Williams (Exemp. Records, Vol. 7, p. 208). After de- 
ducting the land laid out in Germantown, and the two thou- 
sand acres sold to the Op den GraefTs, the bulk of his five 
thousand acres was taken up on the Skippack, in a tract for 
many years known as Telnor's Township. In 1684 also 
came Jan Willemse Bockanogen, a Quaker cooper from 
Harlem.f October 12th, 1685, in the "Francis and 
Dorothy," arrived Hans Peter Umstat from Crefeld, with 
his wife Barbara, his son John, and his daughters Anna 
Margaretta and Eve ; % Peter Schumacher, with his son 
Peter, his daughters Mary, Frances and Gertrude, and his 
cousin Sarah ; Gerhard Hendricks, with his wife Mary, his 
daughter Sarah and his servant Heinrich Frey, the last 

* Dr. Sheffer's Paper in the Pennsylvania Magazine, Vol. 2, p. 122. 

j- Among his descendants was Henry Armitt Brown, the orator. The old 
Bockenogens were Mennonite weavers, who fled to Harlem because of per- 
secution about 1578. 

\ " He brought over with him the family Bible of his father, Nicholas Um- 
stat, which I have inherited through his daughter Eve," says S. W. Penny- 


named from Altheim in Alsace ; and Heinrich Buchholtz 
and his wife Mary. Peter Schumacher, an early Quaker 
convert from the Mennonites, is the first person definitely 
ascertained to have come from Kriesheim, the little village 
in the Palatinate, to which so much prominence has been 
given. Fortunately we know under what auspices he 
arrived. By an agreement with Dirk Sipman, of Crefeld, 
dated August 16th, 1685, he was to proceed with the first 
good wind to Pennsylvania, and there receive two hundred 
acres from Herman Op den Graeff, on which he should 
erect a dwelling, and for which he should pay a rent of two 
rix dollars a year.* Gerhard Hendricks also had bought 
two hundred acres from Sipman {Deed Book, Ed. IV, vol. 
7, p. 180). " He came from Kriesheim, and I am inclined 
to believe that his identity may be merged in that of Ger- 
hard Hendricks Dewees," says Saml. W. Pennypacker. 
If so, he was associated with the Op den Graeffs and 
Van Bebbers, and was the grandson of Adrian Hendricks 
Dewees, a Hollander, who seems to have lived in Amster- 
dam (see Rattts Buck). This identification, however, 
needs further investigation. Dewees bought land of Sip- 
man, which his widow, Zytien, sold in 1 701. The wife 
of Gerhard Hendricks in the court records is called Sytje. 
On the tax list of 1693 there is a Gerhard Hendricks, 
but no Dewees, though the latter at that time was the 
owner of land (S. IV. Pennypacker). Hendricks, after 
the Dutch manner, called one son William Gerrits and 
another Lambert Gerrits, and both men, if there were 
two, died about the same time. Much confusion has re- 
sulted from a want of familiarity on the part of local his- 

* See his Deed in Dutch in the Germantown Book. 


torians with the Dutch habit of omitting the final or local 
appellation. Thus the Van Bebbers are frequently re- 
ferred to in contemporaneous records as Jacob Isaacs, 
Issac Jacobs and Matthias Jacobs, the Op den Graeffs as 
Dirk Isaac, Abraham Isaacs and Herman Isaacs, and 
Van Burklow as Reynier Hermanns. In 1685 also came 
Heivert Papen, afterwards married to Elizabeth Ritten- 
house, daughter of Willem Rittenhouse, and on the 20th 
of March, 1686, Johannes Kassel, a weaver, and another 
Quaker convert from the Mennonites, from Kriesheim, 
aged forty-seven years, with his children, Arnold, Peter, 
Elizabeth, Mary and Sarah, both having purchased land 
from individual members of the Frankfort Company. 
About the same time Klas Tamsen arrived. In the vessel 
with Kassel was a widow, Sarah Schumacher, from the 
Palatinate and doubtless from Kriesheim, with her chil- 
dren George, Abraham, Barbara, Isaac, Susanna, Elisabeth 
and Benjamin. Isaac Schumacher married Sarah, only 
daughter of Gerhard Hendricks. Their son Benjamin 
and their grandson Samuel were successively Mayors of 
Philadelphia, and a great granddaughter was the wife of 
William Rawle ( IV. Brooks Raw/e, Esq). 

Among the Mennonite martyrs mentioned by Van 
Braght there are several bearing the name of Schoen- 
maker, and that there was a Dutch settlement in the 
neighborhood of Kriesheim is certain. At Flomborn, a 
kw miles distant, is a spring which the people of the 
vicinity still call the " Hollander Spring."* The Panne- 

* This and other information is from Hcrr Johannes Pfannebecker, 
Geheimer Regierungs-Ralh (of Germany), living in Worms, who at the 
request of Dr. Seidensticker and S. W. Pennypacker, made an investigation 
at Kriesheim. 

Arrival of mennonites at germantown. 71 

bakkers went there at some remote date from North Bra- 
bant in Holland. S. W. Pennypacker says : " I have a 
Dutch medical work, published in 1622, which belonged 
to Johannes Kassel." Many Dutch books from the same 
family are in the possession of that indefatigable anti- 
quary, Abraham H. Cassel, and the deed of Peter Schu- 
macher is in Dutch. The Kolbs, who came to Pennsyl- 
vania later, were grandsons of Peter Schumacher and 
were all earnest Mennonites. The Kassels brought over 
with them many of the manuscripts of one of their 
family, Ylles Kassel, a Mennonite preacher at Kriesheim, 
who was born before 161 8 and died after 1681, and some 
of these papers are still preserved. The most interesting 
is a long poem in German rhyme which describes vividly 
the condition of the country, and throws the strongest 
light upon the character of the people and the causes of 
the emigration. The writer says that it was copied off 
with much pain and bodily suffering November 28th, 
1665. It begins: " O Lord! to Thee the thoughts of 
all hearts are known. Into Thy hands I commend my 
body and soul. When Thou lookest upon me with Thy 
mercy all things are well with me. Thou hast stricken 
me with severe illness, which is a rod for my correction. 
Give me patience and resignation. Forgive all my sins 
and wickedness. Let not Thy mercy forsake me. Lay 
not on me more than I can bear." And continues : " O 
Lord God ! Protect me in this time of war and danger, 
that evil men may not do with me as they wish. Take 
me to a place where I may be concealed from them, free 
from such trials and cares. My wife and children, too, 
that they may not come to shame at their hands. Let 
all my dear friends find mercy from Thee." After noting 


a successful flight to Worms, he goes on : " O dear God 
and Lord ! to Thee be all thanks, honor and praise for 
Thy mercy and pity, which Thou hast shown to me in 
this time. Thou hast protected me from evil men, as 
from my heart I prayed Thee. Thou hast led me in the 
right way, so that I came to a place where I was con- 
cealed from such sorrows and cares. Thou hast kept the 
way clear till I reached the city, while other people about 
were much robbed and plundered. I have found a place 
among people who show me much love and kindness. 
. . . Gather us into heaven of which I am unworthy, but 
still I have a faith that God will not drive me into the 
Devil's kingdom with such a host as that which now in 
this land with murder and robbery destroys many people 
in many places, and never once think how it may stand 
before God. . . Well is it known what misery, suffering 
and danger are about in this land, with robbing, plunder- 
ing, murdering and burning. Many a man is brought 
into pain and need and abused even unto death. Many 
a beautiful home is destroyed. The clothes are torn from 
the backs of many people. Cattle and herds are taken 
away. Much sorrow and complaint have been heard. 
The beehives are broken down, the wine spilled." * 

The first to die was Jan Seimens, whose widow was 
again about to marry in October, 1685. Bom died before 
1689, and his daughter Agnes married Anthony Morris, 
the ancestor of the distinguished family of that name. 
In 1685 Wigard and Gerhard Levering came from Miihl- 
heim on the Ruhr, a town also far down the Rhine, near 
Holland, which next to Crefeld seems to have sent the 

* These papers also belong to A. H. Cassel, his descendant. 


largest number of emigrants. In 1687 Arents Klinken 
arrived from Dalem, in Holland, and Jan Streypers 
wrote : " I intend to come over myself," which intention 
he carried into effect before 1706, as at that date he signed 
a petition for naturalization. All of the original Crefeld 
purchasers, therefore, . came to Pennsylvania sooner or 
later, except Remke and Sipman. He, however, returned 
to Europe, where he and Willem had an undivided in- 
heritance at Kaldkirchen,and it was agreed between them 
that Jan should keep the whole of it and Willem take 
the lands here. The latter were 275 acres at German- 
town, 50 at Chestnut Hill, 275 at the Trappe, 4,448 in 
Bucks County, together with 50 acres of Liberty lands, 
and three city lots, the measurement thus considerably 
overrunning his purchase. 

Another arrival of importance was that of Willem Rit- 
tinghuysen, in 1688, a Mennonite minister, who, with his 
two sons, Gerhard and Klaas, or Nicholas, and a daugh- 
ter, who later married Heivert Papen, came from Broich, 
in Holland. His forefathers had long carried on the busi- 
ness of manufacturing paper at Arnheim, and in 1690 
he built the first paper mill in America, on a branch of 
the Wissahickon Creek. There he made the paper used 
by William Bradford, the earliest printer in the middle 
colonies. It appears from a letter in the Mennonite ar- 
chives, at Amsterdam, that he endeavored to have the 
Confession of Faith translated into English and printed 
by Bradford, and that he died in 1708, aged sixty-four 
years.* The Mennonites had their Confession of Faith 

* Jones' Notes to Thomas on Printing; Barton 's Life of David Ritten- 
house ; Penna. Afagazine, Vol. 2, p. 120. 


printed in English, in Amsterdam, in 1712 ; and a reprint 
by Andrew Bradford, in 1727, with an appendix, is the 
first book printed in Pennsylvania for the Germans. The 
erection of the paper mill is likely to keep his memory 
green for many generations to come, and its value was 
fully appreciated by his contemporaries. In a Description 
of Pennsylvania, in verse, by Richard Frame, in 1692, we 
are told, " A papermill near Germantown does stand," 
and says the quaint Gabriel Thomas, six years later, "all 
sorts of very good paper are made in the German town." 
About 1687 came Jan Duplouvys, a Dutch baker, who 
married, by Friends' ceremony, Weyntie Van Sanen, in 
the presence of Telner and Bom, on the third of third 
month, of that year ; and Dirk Keyser, a silk merchant, of 
Amsterdam, and a Mennonite, connected by family ties 
with the leading Mennonites of that city, arrived in Ger- 
mantown, in 1688, by way of New York. If we can rely 
on tradition, the latter was a descendant of that Leonard 
Keyser who was burned to death at Scharding, in 1527, 
and who, according to Ten Cate, was one of the Wal- 
denses (see Penny packer Reunion, p. 13). There was a 
rustic murmur in the little burgh (Germantown) that year, 
which time has shown to have been the echo of the ereat 
wave that rolls around the world. The event, probably, 
at that time produced no commotion and attracted little 
attention. It may well be that the consciousness of hav- 
ing won immortality never dawned upon any of the par- 
ticipants, and yet a mighty nation will ever recognize it 
in time to corneas one of the brightest pages in the early 
history of Pennsylvania. On the 1 8th of April, 1688, 
Gerhard Hendricks, Dirk Op den Graeff, Francis Daniel 
Pastorius and Abraham Op den Graeff sent to the Friends' 


Meeting the first public protest ever made on this Conti- 
nent against the holding of slaves. A little rill there 
started which further on became an immense torrent, and 
whenever thereafter men trace analytically the causes 
which led to Shiloh, Gettysburg and Appomattox, they 
will begin with the tender consciences of the linen weavers 
and husbandmen of Germantown. 

The protest is as follows : 

This is to y e Monthly Meeting held at Rigert 

These are the reasons why we are against the traffick 
of mens-body, as followeth. Is there any that would be 
done or handled at this manner ? viz. to be sold or made 
a slave for all the time of his life ? How fearful & faint- 
hearted are many on sea, when they see a strange vassel 
being afraid it should be a Turck, and they should be 
tacken and sold for Slaves in Turckey. Now what is 
this better done as Turcks doe ? yea rather is it worse for 
them, wch say they are Christians ; for we hear, that y e 
most part of such Negers are brought neither against their 
will & consent, and that many of them are stollen. Now 
tho' they are black, we cannot conceive there is more 
liberty to have them slaves, as it is to have other white 
ones. There is a saying, that we shall doe to all men, 
licke as we will be done our selves: macking no difference 
of what generation, descent or Colour they are. And 
those who steal or robb men, and those who buy or pur- 
chase them, are they not all alicke ? Here is liberty of 
Conscience, wch is right & reasonable, here ought to be 
likewise liberty of y e body, except of evildoers, wch is 
an other case. But to bring men hither, or to robb and 
sell them against their will, we stand against. In Europe 
there are many oppressed for Conscience sacke ; and here 
there are those oppressed wch are of a black Colour. And 
we who know that men must not comitt adultery, some 


doe comitt adultery, in others, separating wifes from their 
housbands, and giving them to others and some sell the 
children of those poor Creatures to other men. Oh! doe 
consider well this things, you who doe it, if you would be 
done at this manner ? and if it is done according Christi- 
anity? you surpass Holland & Germany in this thing. 
This mackes an ill report in all those Countries of Europe, 
where they hear off, that y e Quackers doe here handel 
men, Licke they handel there y e Cattle; and for that 
reason some have no mind or inclination to come hither. 
And who shall maintaine this your cause, or plaid for it? 
Truely we can not do so except you shall inform us better 
hereoff, viz. that christians have liberty to practise this 
things. Pray! What thing in the world can be done 
worse towarts us then if men should robb or steal us away 
& sell us for slaves to strange Countries ; separating hous- 
bands from their wife & children. Being now this is not 
done at that manner we will be done at, therefore we con- 
tradict & are against this traffick of men body. And we 
who profess that it is not lawfull to steal, must lickewise 
avoid to purchase such things as are stolen, but rather 
help to stop this robbing and stealing if possibel and such 
men ought to be delivred out of y e hands of y e Robbers 
and set free as well as in Europe. Then is Pensilvania 
to have a good report, in stead it hath now a bad one for 
this sacke in other Countries. Especially whereas y e Eu- 
ropeans are desirous to know in what manner y e Quackers 
doe rule in their Province & most of them doe loock upon 
us with an envious eye. But if this is done well, what 
shall we say, is don evil ? 

If once these slaves (wch they say are so wicked and 
stubbern men) should joint themselves, fight for their free- 
dom, and handel their masters and mastrisses, as they did 
handel them before; will these masters & mastrisses 
tacke the sword at hand & warr against these poor slaves, 
licke we are able to belive, some will not refuse to doe? 
Or have these negers not as much right to fight for their 
freedom, as you have to keep them slaves? 


Now consider well this thing, if it is good or bad ? and 
in case you find it to be good to handel these blacks at 
that manner, we desire & require you hereby lovingly 
that you may informe us herein, which at this time never 
was done, viz. that Christians have Liberty to do so, to 
the end we shall be satisfied in this point, & satisfie like- 
wise our good friends & acquaintances in our natif Country, 
to whose it is a terrour, or fairfull thing that men should 
be handeld so in Pensilvania. 

This was is from our meeting at Germantown hold y e 
18 of the 2 month 1688 to be delivred to the monthly 
meeting at Richard Warrel's. 

gerret hendericks 
derick op de graefT 
Francis daniell Pastorius 
Abraham op den graef. 

"At our monthly meeting at Dublin, y e 30 2 mo. 1688, 
we having inspected y e matter, above mentioned & con- 
sidered of it, we finde it so weighty that we think it not 
Expedient for us to meddle with it here, but do Rather 
comitt it to y e consideration of y e Quarterly meeting, y e 
tennor of it being nearly Related to y e truth. 

on behalfe of y e monthly meeting. 

signed, pr. Jo. Hart." 

"This above mentioned was Read in our Quarterly 
meeting at Philadelphia, the 4 of y e 4 mo. '88, and was 
from thence recommended to the Yearly Meeting, and 
the above-said Derick, and the other two mentioned 
therein, to present the same to y e above-said meeting, it 
being a thing of too great a weight for this meeting to 

Signed by order of y e meeting, 

Anthony Morris. 


Yearly Meeting Minute on the above Protest. 

At a Yearly Meeting held at Burlington the 5th day 
of the 7th month, 1688. 

A Paper being here presented by some German Friends 
Concerning the Lawfulness and Unlawfulness of Buying 
and keeping Negroes, it was adjudged not to be so proper 
for this Meeting to give a Positive Judgment in the Case, 
It having so General a Relation to many other Parts, and 
therefore at present they forbear It. 

As to the origin of the above protest, there is a differ- 
ence of opinion as to who is entitled to the credit. Mrs. 
Anna Brons, of Holland, writes in an historical sketch of 
the Mennonites, stating that a copy of the above protest 
was in possession of the chief burgomaster at Crefeld. 
She further says : " The feeling of personal liberty 
probably was the cause of several brethren meeting to- 
gether on the 1 8th of April, 1688, and resolved to enter 
a protest against slavery." Whether Garret Hendricks 
was connected with the Mennonite Church is not posi- 
tively known, but the Hendricks generally were Menno- 
nites; their descendants now living in Bucks County are 
of that faith, and in an article published in the German- 
town Independent of July 28th, 1883, it says : " It is held 
quite probable that Hendricks was of that faith, and 
Laurence Hendricks was a Mennonite minister in the 
Palatinate, as appears in his letter written April 9th, 

Derick up de Graeff and Abraham up Den Graef were 
Mennonites, says S. W. Pennypacker, in his Biographical 
Sketches, p. 28, and were grandsons of Herman Op den 


Graeff,* the delegate from Crefeld to the Council which 
/met at Dortrecht in 1632, and adopted a Confession of 

Further, it is said by some that Pastorius was a Quaker 
and by others that he was a Dunkard, but it appears by 
close investigation that he was neither. It is held that he 
was a Pietist ; on one occasion he called the Pietists his 
friends ; afterward he wrote two pamphlets in the con- 
troversy with George Keith, in 1697, printed at Amster- 
dam, by Jacob Claus, to the so-called Pietists in Germany.f 
Neither is it known where he is buried. If he had been 
a Quaker his grave would undoubtedly be known. 

Dr. Ludwig Keller, Royal Librarian at Munster, Ger- 
many, in his history of the " Altevangelischen Gemein- 
den," printed at Berlin, says the following on p. 51: 

" It is by no means yet generally known what promi- 
nent merits these old congregations deserve, not only in 
establishing freedom of conscience, but also in the attempt 
to abolish slavery and witchcraft." 

" The German Mennonites were the first who protested 
against slavery, as they found it in America, by entering 
an earnest protest against it ; and to the Quakers belong 

* Foot-note, p. 206, Historical and Biographical Sketches, by S. W. 
Pennypacker, reads thus : 

" When this article was written I had no knowledge of the Scheuten gene- 
alogy. That valuable MS. says that Herman Op den Graeff was born No- 
vember 26th, 1585, at Aldekerk, a village near the borders of Holland. He 
moved to Crefeld, and there married a Mennonite girl, Grietjen Pletjes, 
daughter of Driessen, August 16th, 1605. He died December 27th, 1642, 
and she died January 7th, 1643. Tne y liad eighteen children, among whom 
was Isaac, who was born February 28th, 161 6, and died January 17th, 
1679. He had four children, Herman, Abraham, Dirk and Margaret, 
all of whom emigrated to German town. 

I See Pennypacker 's Sketches, pp. 17 and 49, 


the credit of having successfully carried the work further, 
also the same with witchcraft." 

Dr. W. J. Mann, of Zion's Church, Franklin Street, 
Philadelphia [Lutheran), in an address delivered on the 
bi-centennial of Germantown, and published in the 
Philadelphia Press, October 8th, 1883, says: "Two 
hundred years ago the first German emigrants came to 
our beautiful Pennsylvania; they were small (few) in num- 
bers, but they were an energetic, industrious and perse- 
vering people. They came as Christians, and not being 
provided with churches they united with the Quakers 
and worshiped with them, and indeed, in 1688, undertook 
to lay the first protest against slavery before the monthly 
meeting of the Quakers." 

In the Catalogue of the Library of the "Vereenigde 
Doopsgezinde Gemeente" at Amsterdam, by Prof. J. G. 
De Hoop Scheffer, we find the following on p. 46 : 

" Germantown Friends' protest against slavery, 1688 
fol. (fotogr. afdruk 1880)." 

" Yearly meeting minutes on the above protest. 
Burlingt, 1788 fol. (fotogr. afdruck 1880.) (Van de 
vier onderteekenaars van het protest zijn er drie doops- 
gesinnten uit Crefeld afkomstig.)"* 

It took almost one hundred and eighty years and a 
mighty war which shook our whole Union to the founda- 
tion, to bring about what those Germans in their simple- 
heartedness had considered as the right and Christian 
thing at too early a period. It is conceded generally 

* Among the four signers of the above protest were three baptism-minded 
from Crefeld. 

Von den vier Unterschreibern des obigen Protests waren drei Taufge- 
sinnten aus Crefeld. 


that the Quakers and Mennonites worshiped together be- 
fore the Mennonites had a meeting-house, but that they 
connected themselves with the Quakers Dr. Mann does 
not say. By reading the above protest carefully it can 
plainly be seen that it has not been written by Quakers, 
because if written by them they would not have used the 
word Quakers, but Friends. Again, it accuses the Quakers 
in strong terms of holding slaves and dealing in them 
themselves, where they say : " Oh, doe consider well this 
thing, you who doe it," and " That ye Quakers do here 
handel men," and " Who shall maintain this your cause 
or plead for it? " " Truly we can not do so except you 
shall inform us better hereof," etc. Further the protest goes 
on and says : " Now consider well this thing, if it is good 
or bad ? and in case you find it to be good to handel these 
blacks at that manner, we desire and require you hereby 
lovingly that yoti may informe us herein, which at this 
time never was done." (/ hereby follow the original as 
to language and orthography^) 

The residents in 1689, not heretofore mentioned, were 
Paul Wolff, a weaver from Fendern, in Holstein, near 
Hamburg, Jacob Jansen Klumpges, Cornells Siverts, 
Hans Millan, Johan Silans, Dirk Van Kolk, Hermann 
Bom, Hendrick Sellen, Isaac Schaffer, Ennecke Kloster- 
man, from Muhlheim on the Ruhr, Jan Doeden and An- 
dries Souplis. Of these, Siverts was a native of Friesland, 
the home of Menno Simons (see Rattis Bucli). Sellen, 
with his brother Dirk, were Mennonites from Crefeld, and 
Souplis was admitted as a burgher and denizen of the 
city of New York, September 17th, 1685, with a right to 
trade anywhere in his majesty's dominions. The origin 
of the others I have not been able to ascertain, says 


Pennypacker. Hendrick Sellen was very active in affairs 
at Germantown. According to Funk he gave the ground 
for the Mennonite church there, was a trustee of the 
church on the Skippack, and in 1698 made a trip to Cre- 
feld, carrying back to the old home many business com- 
munications, and we may well suppose many messages 
of friendship. 

On the 14th of January, 1690, two thousand nine hun- 
red and fifty acres north of Germantown were divided 
into three districts, and called Kriesheim, Sommerhausen, 
from the birthplace of Pastorius, and Crefeld. 

An effort at naturalization, made in 1691, adds to our 
list of residents Reynier Hermanns Van Burklow, Peter 
Klever, Anthony Loof, Paul Karstner, Andris Kramer, 
Jan Williams, Hermann Op de Trap, Hendrick Kasselberg, 
from Bakersdorf in the country of Brugge, and Klas 
Jansen. The last two were Mennonites, Jansen being 
one of the earliest preachers. Op de Trap, or Trapman, as 
he is sometimes called, appears to have come from Muhl- 
heim on the Ruhr, and was drowned at Philadelphia in 
1693. Gisbert Wilhelms died the year before. 

Pastorius served in the Assembly in the years 1687 
and 1 69 1, and Abraham Op den Graeffin the years 1689, 
1690 and 1692, though they were both still aliens. 

Francis Daniel Pastorius was a son of Melchior Adam 
Pastorius, who was converted to the Protestant faith. 
Francis Daniel was born at Sommerhausen, September 
26th, 165 1. When he was seven years old his father re- 
moved to Windsheim, and there he was sent to school. 
Later he spent two years at the University of Strasburg, 
in 1672 went to the high school at Basle, and afterwards 
studied law at Jena. He was thoroughly familiar with 


the Greek, Latin, German, French, Dutch, English and 
Italian tongues, and at the age of twenty-two publicly 
disputed in different languages upon law and philosophy. 
On the 24th of April, 1679, he went to Frankfort, and 
there began the practice of law; but on June, 1680, he 
started with Johan Bonaventura von Rodeck, " a noble 
young spark," on a tour through Holland, England, 
France, Switzerland and Germany, which occupied over 
two years. On his return to Frankfort, in November, 
1682, he heard from his friends the Pietists of the con- 
templated emigration to Pennsylvania, and with a sudden 
enthusiasm he determined to join them, or in his own 
words, "a strong desire came upon me to cross the seas 
with them." He sailed from London June 10th, 1683, and 
arrived at Philadelphia, August 20th. His great learning 
and social position at home made him the most con- 
spicuous person at Germantown. He married November, 
1688, Ennecke Klosterman, and had two sons, John 
Samuel and Henry. 

The village had now become populous enough to war- 
rant a separate existence, and on May 31st, 1691, a charter 
of incorporation was issued to Francis Daniel Pastorius, 
bailiff; Jacob Telner, Dirk Op den Graeff, Hermann Op 
den Graeff and Thones Kunders, burgesses; Abraham 
Op den Graeff, Jacob Isaacs Van Bebber, Johannes 
Kassel, Heivert Papen, Hermann Bom and Dirk Van 
Kolk, committeemen (council), with power to hold a court 
and a market, to admit citizens, to impose fines and to 
make ordinances. The bailiff and first two burgesses 
were constituted justices of the peace — they did not want 
their laws to go unheeded. It was therefore ordered that 
" On the 19th 1st month in each year the people shall be 

8 4 


called together and the laws and ordinances read aloud to 
them." Oh, ye modern legislators ! think how few must 
have been the statutes and how plain the language in 
which they were written in that happy community. As 
we have seen, the greater number of the first Crefeld 
emigrants were weavers. This industry increased so that 
Frame describes Germantown as a place 

" Where lives High German people and Low Dutch, 
Whose trade in weaving linen cloth is much ; 
There grows the Flax as also you may know 
That from the same they do divide the tow ;" 

and Thomas says they made "very fine German linen, 
such as no Person of quality need be ashamed to wear." 

When, therefore, Pastorius was 
called upon to devise a town 
seal, he selected a clover on 
one of whose leaves was a 
vine, on another a stalk of flax, 
and on the third a weaver's 
spool, with the motto "Vinum, 
Linum et Textrinum." This 
seal happily suggests the rela- 
tions of the town with the far past, and it is a curious in- 
stance of the permanence of causes that these simple 
people, after the lapse of six centuries, and after being 
transplanted to a distance of thousands of miles, should 
still be pursuing the occupation of the Waldenses of 
Flanders. The corporation was maintained until January 
i ith, 1707, but always with considerable difficulty in 
getting the offices filled. Says Loher : " They would do 
nothing but work and pray, and their mild consciences 
made them opposed to the swearing of oaths and courts, 


and would not suffer them to use harsh weapons against 
thieves and trespassers." Through conscientious scruples 
Arent Klincken declined to be burgess in 1695, Heivert 
Papen in 1 701, Cornelis Siverts in 1702, and Paul Engle 
in 1703, Jan Lensen to be a committeeman in 1701, 
Arnold Kuster and Daniel Geissler in 1702, Matteus 
Millan to be constable in 1703, and in 1695 Albertus 
Brandt was fined for a failure to act as juryman, " having 
no other escape but that in court in Philadelphia he was 
wronged upon the account of a jury." New comers were 
required to pay one pound for the right of citizenship, 
and the date of the conferment of this right doubtless 
approximates that of the arrival {Rattis Buck and Court 
Records). In 1692 culminated the dissensions among the 
Quakers caused by George Keith, and the commotion 
extended to the community of Germantown. At a public 
meeting Keith called Dirk Op den Graeff an " impudent 
rascal," and since, as we have seen, the latter was a justice 
of the peace, in the right of his position as a burgess it 
was looked upon as a flagrant attack upon the majesty 
of the law. Among those who signed the testimony of 
the yearly meeting at Burlington 7th of 7th month, 1692, 
against Keith were Paul Wolff, Paul Kastner, Francis 
Daniel Pastorius, Andries Kramer, Dirk Op den Graeff 
and Arnold Kassel. The certificate from the quarterly 
meeting at Philadelphia, which Samuel Jennings bore with 
him to London in 1693, when he went to present the 
matter before the yearly meeting there, was signed by 
Dirk Op den Graeff, Reynier Tyson, Peter Schumacher 
and Casper Hoedt. Pastorius wrote two pamphlets in the 
controversy. The titles of these hitherto unknown pam- 
phlets are : 


I. Ein Sendbrieff Offenhertziger Liebsbezeugung an 
die so genannte Pietisten in Hoch Teutschland. Amster- 
dam, 1697. 

II. Henry Bernhard Kuster, William Davis, Thomas 
Rutter and Thomas Bowyer, four Boasting Disputers of 
this world, Rebuked and Answered according to their 
folly, which they themselves have manifested in a late pam- 
phlet, entitled " Advice for all Professors and writers!' — 
{\Yilliam Bradford, New York, 1697.) 

On the other hand, Abraham Op den Graeffwas one of 
five persons who, with Keith, issued the Appeal, for pub- 
lishing which William Bradford, the printer, was com- 
mitted, and a testimony in favor of Keith was signed by 
Herman Op den Graeff, Thomas Rutter, Cornells Siverts, 
David Scherkes and Jacob Isaacs Van Bebber (Potfs 
Memorial, p. 394). Op den Graeff and Van Bebber were 
Mennonites. This furnishes us with another instance of 
two known to have been Mennonites acting with the 
Friends, and Sewel, the Quaker historian, says concerning 
Keith, "and seeing several Mennonites of the county of 
Meurs lived also in Pennsylvania, it was not much to be 
wondered that they who count it unlawful for a Christian 
to bear the sword of the magistracy did stick to him." 

Casper Hoedt, then a tailor in New York, married 
there 6th month 12th, 1686, Elizabeth, eldest daughter 
of Nicolaes De la Plaine and Susanna Cresson, who were 
French Hugenots. James De la Paine, a relative and 
probably a son of Nicolaes, came to Germantown from 
New York prior to August 28th, 1692, on which day he 
was married by Friends' ceremony to Hannah Cock. 

Susanna, a daughter of Nicolaes, became the wife of 
Arnold Kassel 9th month 2d, 1693.* 

* Notes of Walter Cresson. 


A tax list, made by order of the Assembly in 1693, 
names the following additional residents, viz : Johanna 
Pettinger, John Van de Woestyne and Paulus Kuster. 
Kuster, a Mennonite, came from Crefeld with his sons 
Arnold, Johannes and Hermannus and his wife Gertrude. 
She was a sister of Jan and Willem Streypers. 

In 1662, twenty years before the landing of Penn, the 
city of Amsterdam sent a little colony of twenty-five 
Mennonites to New Netherlands under the leadership of 
Pieter Cornelisz Plockhoy, of Zierik Zee. They were to 
have power to make rules and laws for their own govern- 
ment, and were to be free from taxes and tenths for 
twenty years. Each man was loaned a hundred guilders 
to pay for his transportation. They settled at Horekill, 
on the Delaware, and there lived on peaceful terms with 
the Indians. The hand of fate, however, which so kindly 
sheltered Telner and Pastorius, fell heavily upon their 
forerunner, Plockhoy. An evil day for this colony soon 
came. When Sir Robert Carr took possession of the 
Delaware on behalf of the English, he sent a boat, in 
1664, to the Horekill, and his men utterly demolished the 
settlement and destroyed and carried off all the property, 
" even to a naile." What became of the people has 
always been a mystery. History throws no light on the 
subject, and of contemporary documents there are none. * 

In the year 1694 there came an old blind man and his 

* Col. W. W. H. Davis, in his " History of Bucks County, Pa.," states that 
they were taken South and sold as slaves, but I had two interviews with 
him on the subject, and he acknowledged that he could not give any authority 
for said statement. 

I also examined Egley's History, containing Capt. Carr's Day Book, but 
found no mention of it there. — Author. 


wife to Germantown. His miserable condition awakened 
the tender sympathies of the Mennonites there. They 
gave him the citizenship free of charge. They set apart 
for him on Ent Street, by Peter Kleever's corner, a lot 
twelve rods long and one rod broad, whereon to build a 
little house and make a garden which should be his 
as lone as he and his wife should live. In front of it 
they planted a tree. Jan Doeden and Willem Ritting- 
huysen wer« appointed to take up " a free-will offering " 
and to have the little house built. This is all we 
know, but it is surely a satisfaction to see a ray of sun- 
light thrown upon the brow of the helpless old man 
as he neared his grave. After thirty years of untracked 
wanderings on these wild shores friends had come across 
the sea to give him a home at last. His name was 
Cornelis Plockhoy.* 

On the 24th of June of the same year Johannes Kelpius, 
Henry Bernhard Koster, Daniel Falkner, Daniel Lutke, 
Johannes Seelig, Ludwig Biderman and about forty other 
Pietists and Chiliasts arrived in Germantown and soon 
after settled on the Wissahickon, where they founded the 
society of the "Woman in the Wilderness." The events 
in the strange life of Kelpius, the hermit of the Wissa- 
hickon, have been fully told by Seidensticker and Jones. 
Together with Johannes Jawert and Daniel Falkner he 
was appointed an attorney for the Frankfort Company in 
1 700, but he never acted. Falkner had more to do with 
the affairs at Germantown, being bailiff in 1 701, and in 
Montgomery County Falkner y s Swamp still preserves the 
remembrance of his name. In 1700 he went to Holland 

* Ruth's Buch, Broadhead's History of New York, Vol. I, p. 688. 


where he published a small volume in German, giving in- 
formation concerning the province, to which he soon 

George Gottschalk, from Lindau, Bodensee, Daniel 
Geissler, Christian Warner and Martin Sell were in Ger- 
manton in 1694, Levin Harberdinck in 1696, and in 
1698 Jan Linderman came from Muhlheim on the Ruhr. 
During the last year the right of citizenship was conferred 
upon Jan Neuss, a Mennonite and silversmith ; William 
Hendricks, Frank Houfer, Paul Engle, whose name is on 
the oldest marked stone in the Mennonite graveyard on 
the Skippack under date of 1723, and Reynier Jansen. 
Though Jansen has since become a man of note, abso- 
lutely nothing seems to have been known of his ante- 
cedents, and I will, says Pennepacker, " therefore give in 
detail such facts as I have been able to ascertain concern- 
ing him." On the 21st of May, 1698, Cornelis Siverts, 
of Germantown, wishing to make some arrangements 
about land he had inherited in Friesland, sent a power of 
attorney to Reynier Jansen, lace-maker at Alkmaer in 
Holland. It is consequently manifest that Jansen had not 
then reached this country. On the 23d of April, 1700, 
Benjamin Furly, of Rotterdam, the agent of Penn at that 
city, gave a power of attorney to Daniel and Justus 
Falkner to act for him here. It was of no avail, how- 
ever, because, as appears from a confirmatory letter of 
July 28th, 1 70 1, a previous power " to my loving friend, 
Reynier Jansen," lace-maker, had not been revoked, 
though no intimation had ever been received that use had 

* Curieusc Nachricht von Pennsylvania in Norden America von Daniel 
Falknern, Professor etc. Frankfurt und Leipzig, 1 702. 


been made of it. It seems, then, that between the dates 
of the Siverts and Furly powers Jansen had gone to 
America. On the 29th of November, 1698, Reynier Jan- 
sen, who afterwards became the printer, bought of Thomas 
Tresse twenty acres of Liberty lands here, and on the 7th 
of February, 1698-9, the right of citizenship, as has been 
said, was conferred by the Germantown Court upon Rey- 
nier Jansen, lace-maker. These events fix with some 
definiteness the date of his arrival. He must soon after- 
wards have removed to Philadelphia, though retaining his 
associations with Germantown, because ten months later, 
December 23d, 1699, he bought of Peter Klever seventy- 
five acres in the latter place by a deed in which he is de- 
scribed as a merchant of Philadelphia. This land he, as 
a printer, sold to Daniel Geissler October 20th, 1701. 
Since the book called " God's Protecting Providence," etc., 
was printed in 1699, it must have been one of the earliest 
productions of his press, and the probabilities are that he 
began to print late in that year. Its appearance indicates 
an untrained printer and a meagre font of type. He was 
the second printer in the middle colonies, and his books 
are so rare that a single specimen would probably bring 
at auction now more than the price for which he then 
sold his whole edition. He left a son, Stephen, in busi- 
ness at Amsterdam whom he had apportioned there, and 
brought with him to this country two sons, Tiberius and 
Joseph, who, after the Dutch manner, assumed the name 
Reyniers, and two daughters, Amity, who married 
Matthias, son of Hans Millan, of Germantown, and Alice, 
who married John Piggot. His career as a printer was 
very brief. He died about March 1st, 1706, leaving per- 
sonal property valued at ^226 is. 8d., among which was 


included " a parcell of books from William Bradford £4. 
2s. od." We find among the residents in 1699 Heinrich 
Pennepacker, the first German surveyor in the province, 
and Evert In den Hoffen, from Miihlheim on the Ruhr, 
with Herman, Gerhard, Peter and Annecke, who were 
doubtless his children, some of whom are buried in the 
Mennonite graveyard on the Skippack. 

Four families, members of the Mennonite Church at 
Hamburg, Harman Karsdorp and family, Claes Berends 
and family, including his father-in-law, Cornelius Claessen, 
Isaac Van Sintern and family, and Paul Roosen and wife, 
and two single persons, Heinrich Van Sintern and the 
widow Trientje Harmens, started for Pennsylvania, March 
5th, 1700, and a few months later at least four of them 
were here (Mennonitische Blaetter, Hamburg). Isaac Van 
Sintern was a great grandson of Jan de Voss, a burgo- 
master at Handshooten, in Flanders, about 1550, a gene- 
alogy of whose descendants, including many American 
Mennonites, was prepared in Holland over a hundred 
years ago. In 1700 also came George Miiller and Justus 
Falkner, a brother of Daniel, and the first Lutheran 
preacher in the province. Among the residents in 1700 
were Isaac Karsdorp and Arnold Van Vossen, Menno- 
nites; Richard Van der Werf, Dirk Jansen, who married 
Margaret Millan, and Sebastian Bartleson ; in 1701, Hein- 
rich Lorentz and Christopher Schlegel ; in 1702, Dirk 
Jansen, an unmarried man from Bergerland, working for 
Johannes Kuster; Ludwig Christian Sprogell, a bachelor, 
from Holland, and brother of that John Henry Sprogell 
who a few years later brought an ejectment against Pas- 
torius, and feed all the lawyers of the province; Marieke 
Speikerman, Johannes Rebenstock, Philip Christian Zim- 

9 2 


merman, Michael Renberg, with his sons Dirk and Wil- 
helm, from Muhlheim on the Ruhr, Peter Bun, Isaac 
Peterson and Jacob Gerritz Holtzhooven, both from Guel- 
derland in Holland, Heinrich Tibben, Willem Hosters, 
a Mennonite weaver from Crefeld, Jacob Claessen Arents, 
from Amsterdam, Jan Krey, Johann Conrad Cotweis, who 
was an interpreter in New York in 1709, and Jacob 
Gaetschalk, a Mennonite preacher, and 1703, Anthony 
Gerckes, Barnt Hendricks, Hans Heinrich Meels, Simon 
Andrews, Herman Dors * and Cornelius Tyson. The 
last two appear to have come from Crefeld, and over 
Tyson, who died in 17 16, Pastorius erected in Axe's 
Graveyard at Germantown what is, so far as I know, the 
oldest existing tombstone to the memory of a German 
in Pennsylvania. It bears the following inscription in 
Dutch : 

Obijt Meiy 9, 1716. 
Cornelius Tiesen. 
Salic sin de doon 
Die in den Here sterve. 
Theibric is haer Kron, 
Tgloriric haer ewe. 

Gestorben den 9. Mai, 1716. 
Cornelius Tyson. 
Selig sind die Todten 
Die in dem Herrn sterben. 
Zahlreich ist ihre Krone, 
j Glorreich ist ihr Erbe. 

Died May 9th, 1716. 
Cornelius Tyson. 
Blessed are the dead 
Who die in the Lord. 
Numerous is their crown, 
Glorious is their reward. 

On the 28th of June, 1701, a tax was laid for the build- 
ing of a prison, erection of a market and other objects 
for the public good. As in all communities the prison 
preceded the school-house, but the interval was not long. 
December 30th of that year " it was found good to start 
a school here in Germantown," and Arent Klinken, Paul 
Wollf and Peter Schumacher, Jr., were appointed over- 

* One Herman Dorst, near Germantown, a bachelor, past eighty years of 
age, who for a long time lived in a house by himself, died there on the 14th 
instant. — American Weekly Mercury ; October 18th, 1739. 


seers to collect subscriptions and arrange with a school 
teacher, and Pastorius was the first pedagogue. As early 
as January 25th, 1694-95, it was ordered that stocks 
should be put up for the punishment of evildoers. We 
might, perhaps, infer that they were little used from the 
fact that in June, 1702, James De la Plaine was ordered 
to remove the old iron from the rotten stocks and take 
care of it. But alas ! December 31st, 1703, we find that 
"Peter Schumacher and Isaac Schumacher shall arrange 
with workmen that a prison house and stocks be put up 
as soon as possible " {Rattis Bucli). 

February 10th, 1702-3, Arnold Van Fossen delivered 
to Jan Neuss, on behalf of the Mennonites, a deed for 
three square perches of land for a church, which, how- 
ever, was not built until six years later. 

In 1702 began the settlement on the Skippack. This 
first outgrowth of Germantown also had its origin at 
Crefeld, and the history of the Crefeld purchase would 
not be complete without some reference to it. As we have 
seen, of the one thousand acres bought by Govert Remke, 
one hundred and sixty-one acres were laid out at German- 
town; the balance he sold in 1686 to Dirk Sipman. 
Of Sipman's own purchase of five thousand acres, five 
hundred and eighty-eight acres were laid out at German- 
town, and all that remained of the six thousand acres he 
sold in 1698 to Matthias Van Bebber, who, getting in 
addition five thousand acres allowance and four hundred 
and fifteen acres by purchase, had the whole tract of six 
thousand one hundred and sixty-six acres located by 
patent, February 22d, 1701, on the Skippack. It was in 
the present Perkiomen Township, Montgomery County, 
and adjoined Edward Lane and William Harmer, near 


what is now the village of Evansburg (Exemp. Records, 
Vol. I, p. 470). For the next half century at least it was 
known as Bebber's Town, or Bebber's Township, and the 
name, being often met with in the Germantown records, 
has been a source of apparently hopeless confusion to our 
local historians. Van Bebber immediately began to col- 
onize it, the most of the settlers being Mennonites. 
Among these settlers were Heinrich Pannebecker, Johan- 
nes Kuster, Johannes Umstat, Klas Jansen and Jan Krey, 
in 1702; John Jacobs, in 1704; John Newberry, Thomas 
Wiseman, Edward Beer, Gerhard and Herman In de 
Hoffen, Dirk and William Renberg, in 1706; William 
and Cornelius Dewees, Hermannus Kuster, Christopher 
Zimmerman, Johannes Scholl and Daniel Desmond, in 
1708; Jacob Johannes and Martin Kolb, Mennonite 
weavers from Wolfsheim in the Palatinate, and Andrew 
Strayer, in 1709; Solomon Dubois, from Ulster County, 
New York, in 17 16; Paul Fried, in 1727, and in the last 
year the unsold balance of the tract passed into the hands 
of Pannebecker. Van Bebber gave one hundred acres 
for a Mennonite church, which was built about 1725, 
the trustees being Hendrick Sellen, Hermannus Kuster, 
Klas Jansen, Martin Kolb, Henry Kolb, Jacob Kolb and 
Michael Ziegler. Their early preachers were Jacob Gaet- 
shalk, Henry Kolb, Claes Jansen and Michael Ziegler. 

The Van Bebbers were undoubtedly men of standing, 
ability, enterprise and means. The father, Jacob Isaac, 
moved to Philadelphia before 1698, being described as a 
merchant in High Street, and died there before 171 1. 
He had three grandsons named Jacob, one of whom was 
doubtless the Jacob Van Bebber who became Judge of the 
Supreme Court of Delaware, November 27th, 1764. Mat- 


thias, who is frequently mentioned by James Logan, made 
a trip to Holland in 1701, witnessing there Benjamin 
Furly's power of attorney, July 28th, and had returned to 
Philadelphia before April 13th, 1702. He remained in 
that city until 1704, when he and his elder brother, 
Isaac Jacobs, accompanied by Reynier Hermanns Van 
Burklow, a son-in-law of Peter Schumacher, and possibly 
others, removed to Bohemia Manor, Cecil County, Mary- 
land. There he was a justice of the peace, and is described 
in the deeds as a merchant and a gentleman. Their 
descendants, like many others, soon fell away from the 
simple habits and strict creed of their fathers. The Van 
Bebbers, of Maryland, have been distinguished in all the 
wars and at the bar, and at the Falls of the Kanawha, 
Van Bebber's rock, a crag jutting out at a great height 
over the river, still preserves the memory and recalls the 
exploits of one of the most daring Indian fighters in 
Western Virginia. 

I have now gone over two decades of the earliest 
history of Germantown. It has been my effort to give 
the names of all those who arrived within that time, and 
as fully as could be ascertained the dates of their arrival 
and the places from which they came, believing that in 
this way the most satisfactory information will be con- 
veyed to those interested in them as individuals, and the 
clearest light thrown on the character of the emigration. 
The facts so collected and grouped seem to me to war- 
rant the conclusion I have formed, that Germantown was 
substantially a settlement of people from the lower Rhine 
regions of Germany and from Holland, and that in the 
main they were the offspring of that Christian sect, 
which, more than any other, has been a wanderer 


(says Loeher in his GcscliicJite und Zustande der Dent- 
schen in America, p. 35: "As the true pilgrims upon 
earth, going from place to place in the hope to find quiet 
and rest, appear the Mennonites. They were the most im- 
portant among the German pioneers in North America"), 
which endeavoring to carry the injunctions of the New 
Testament into the affairs of daily life, had no defense 
against almost incredible persecutions except flight, and 
which to-day is sending thousands of its followers to the 
Mississippi and the far West, after they have in vain 
quest traversed Europe from the Rhine to the Volga* 

In the compilation of this article I have been especially 
indebted to Dr. J. G. DeHoop Scheffer, of the College at 
Amsterdam, for European researches ; to Professor Os- 
wald Seidensticker, of the University of Pennsylvania, 
whose careful investigations I have used freely, and to 
Abraham H. Cassel, of Harleysville, Pa., whose valuable 
library, it is perhaps not too much to say, is the only 
place in which the history of the Germans of Pennsyl- 
vania can be found. In giving the orthography of proper 
names, I have, as far as practicable, followed autographs 
(see vS. W. Pennypacker). 

* See Historical and Biographical Sketches, by Samuel W. Pennypacker. 

Mennonite Meeting at Germantown. 

Denis Kunders or Conrad. — Pastorius had an inter- 
view with Conrad at Crefeld, April 12th, 1683, on his 
way to America. That Conrad was a Mennonite is gen- 
erally conceded. His wife was a sister of the Streypers 
and they were Mennonites, and a son of Conrad married 
a daughter of Willem Streypers in 17 10, and Pastorius 
says : " I talked with Denis Kunders and his wife, and 
with Dirk, Herman and Abraham Op den Graeff, at Cre- 
feld," and they were Mennonites. The first religious 
meeting was held at Conrad's house in Germantown, 
1683. It is said they first worshiped in private houses, 
or under the shade of the trees during the pleasant days 
of summer. Their first minister was Willem Ritting- 
huysen,* who arrived in i688f from Broich in Holland, 
and who in 1690 built the first paper mill in America, on 
a branch of the Wissahickon Creek, and there was made 
the paper used by William Bradford, the earliest printer 
in the middle colonies. 

Februry 10th, 1702-3, Arnold Van Fossen delivered 
to Jan Neuss on behalf of the Mennonites a deed for three 
square perches of land for a church. The first meeting- 

* Willem Ruddinghuysen van Mulheim. 

f Some historians have it even earlier, but the evidence is merely circum- 
stantial. In 1678 he was yet at Amsterdam and was made a citizen there. 

7 (97) 


house was built in 1708. It was a log house, neither 
large nor costly, but in keeping with those plain people. 
The log church was built at the southeast corner of the 
lot where the present meeting-house stands, on Main 
Street. It was used also as a school-house, and Chris- 
topher Dock was for many years the teacher of this 
school. Some of the hymns composed by him in Ger- 
man are still preserved. The deed of the meeting-house 
bears date September 6th, 17 14. It was given by Henry 
Sellen to the Mennonite church of Germantown, and is 
now in the possession of the author of this work and 
reads as follows : 

TO ALL PEOPLE to whom these presents shall come 
I Henry Sellen of Kriesheim in the Germantownship in 
the County of Philadelphia & province of Pensilvania Yeo- 
man fend greeting. Whereas Arnold van Vofsen of Beb- 
bers-township in the sd County Husbandman & Mary his 
wife by their Indenture duly executed bearing date the Sixth 
day of September Annog. domi 1714, for the consideration 
therein mentioned did Grant and Convey unto me the sd 
Henry Sellen, & to John Neus late of Germantown de- 
ceased, a certain piece of Land fcituate lying & being in 
Germantown in the sd County, Containing thirty five 
perches of land, to hold the sd piece of land with the appur- 
tenances, unto us the sd Henry Sellen & John Neus, and 
to the furvivor of us & to the heirs and afsigns of the fur- 
vivor of us forever, as by the sd Indenture may at Large 
appear, Which sd land & premifses wereso as aforesd 
convey'd unto us by the direction & appointment of the 
Inhabitants in & about Germantown aforesd belonging to 
the Meeting of the people called Mennonists (: alias Men- 


isten :) And the above recited Intenture was fo made or 
Intended to us in trust to the Intent only that we or either 
of us as should be & continue in unity & religious fellow- 
ship with the sd people & remain members of the meeting 
of the sd Mennonists (: whereunto we did & I now do be- 
long :) should stand & be feized of the sd land & premifses 
in and by the sd Indenture granted. To the uses & Intents 
herein after mentioned & declared & under the conditions 
provisos & restrictions herein after limitted & exprefsed & 
to no other use Intent or purpose whatsoever, that is to 
say, For a place to erect a meeting house for the use and 
service of the sd Mennonists (: alias Menisten :) and for a 
place to bury their dead, Provided always that neither I 
nor my heirs nor any other person or persons fucceeding 
me in this trust, who shall be declared by the members of 
sd Meeting for the time being to be out of unity with them 
shall be capable to execute this trust or ftand feized to the 
uses aforesd, nor have any right or Intrest in the sd pre- 
mifses while I or they mall fo remain. But that in all 
such cases as also when I or any fucceeding me in the trust 
aforesd shall happen to depart this life, than it shall & may 
be lawfull to & for the sd Members of the sd Meeting as 
often as Occasion shall require to make choice of others 
to mannage & execute the sd trust in stead of such as shall 
so fall away or be deceased. And upon this further trust 
& confidence that we & the furvivor of us and the heirs 
of such furvivor should upon the request of the members 
of the meeting of the sd Mennonists either afsign over the 
sd trust or convey and settle the sd piece of land and pre- 
mifses to such person or persons as the members of the sd 
meeting shall order or appoint, to and for the uses Intents 
and fervices herein before mentioned. 


NOW KNOW YE that I the sd Henry Sellen do 
hereby acknowledge, that I and the sd John Neus deceased 
were nominated in the sd recited Indenture by and on the 
behalf of the sd people called Mennonists (: alias Menisten :) 
and that we were, and by furvivorship I now am therein 
trusted only by and for the members of the sd meeting of 
the Mennonists And that I do not claim to have any 
right or Intrest in the sd land & premifses or any part there 
of to my own use & benefit by the sd Indenture or Con- 
veyance so made to us as aforesd or otherwise howsoever, 
But only to and for the use Intent & fervice herein before 
mentioned under the Limitation and restriction above ex- 
prefled and reserved, And to no other use Intent or fervice 
whatsoever. In witnefs whereof I have hereunto set my 
hand & seal, dated the Eight day of December in the year 
of our Lord one thousand seven hundred & twenty four. 

Hendrick Sellen ffiES 

Signed sealed and delivered 
in the presence of 
Martin Kolb 
Dirck Keyser 

The Mennonitcs have the honor of being the original 
settlers in Germantown. That claim unquestionably 
belongs to them, for they are given that distinction in 
every history that details the events pertaining to the 
early settlement of Germantown. They believe in the 
doctrine of faith, that it is wrong to take up the sword 
against man ; such a belief was first expressed by the 
Mennonites, and the Quakers followed in their wake. 
Certain it is that the Mennonites were the first to cham- 
pion the cause which had its origin in their conscience, 


and it was solely through their efforts and some German 
Baptists {Dunkards) that the Legislature of Pennsylvania 
intervened and enacted that they and the Quakers should 
be exempt from military service.* The passage of such a 
law was the cause which inspired the Mennonites to for- 
ward to the legislators at Harrisburg the following, which 
is from the original copy, now one hundred and eleven 
years old, and the only English copy known and now in 
my possession at Germantown. It reads as follows : 

A fhort and fincere DECLARATION, 

To our Honorable J/Jembfy, and all others in high or low 
Station of Adminijlration, and to all Friends and In- 
habitants of this Country, to whofe. Sight this 
may come, be they English or Germans. 

IN the fir ft Place we acknowledge us indebted to the 
moft high God, who created Heaven and Earth, the only 
good Being, to thank him for all his great Goodnefs and 
manifold Mercies and Love through our Saviour Jesus 
Christ, who is come to fave the Souls of Men, having all 
Power in Heaven and on Earth. 

Further we find ourfelves indebted to be thankfull to our 
late worthy AfTembly, for their giving fo good an Advice 
in thefe troublefome Times to all Ranks of People in Penn- 
fyhania, particularly in allowing thofe, who, by the Doctrine 
of our Saviour Jesus Christ, are perfuaded in their Con- 
ferences to love their Enemies, and not to refift Evil, to 
enjoy the Liberty of their Confcience, for which, as alfo 
for all the good Things we enjoyed under their Care, we 
heartily thank that worthy Body of AfTembly, and all high 

* Constitution of Pennsylvania, Article i, Declaration of Rights, Section 3. 


and low in Office, who have advifed to fuch a peacefull 
Meafure, hoping and confiding that they, and all others 
entrufted with Power in this hitherto bleffed Province, may 
be moved by the fame Spirit of Grace, which animated the 
firft Founder of this Province, our late worthy Proprietor 
William Penn, to grant Liberty of Confcience to all its 
Inhabitants, that they may in the great and memorable Day 
of Judgment be put on the right Hand of the juft Judge, 
who judgeth without RefpecT: of Perfon, and hear of him 
thefe bleffed Words, Come, ye blejfed of my Father, inherit 
the Kingdom prepared for you, &c. What ye have done unto 
one of the leafl of thefe my Brethren, ye have done unto me, 
among which Number (/'. e. the leaf of CbriJFs Brethren) 
we by his Grace hope to be ranked ; and every Lenity and 
Favour (hewn to fuch tender confcienced, although weak 
Followers of this our blefTed Saviour, will not be forgotten 
by him in that great Day. 

The Advice to thofe who do not find Freedom of Con- 
fcience to take up Arms, that they ought to be helpfull to 
thofe who are in Need and diftreffed Circumftances, we 
receive with Chearfulnefs towards all Men of what Station 
they may be — it being our Principle to feed the Hungry 
and give the Thirfty Drink ; — we have dedicated ourfelves 
to ferve all Men in every Thing that can be helpful to the 
Prefervation of Men's Lives, but we find no Freedom in 
giving, or doing, or affifting in any Thing by which Men's 
Lives are deftroyed or hurt. — We beg the Patience of all 
thofe who believe we err in this Point. 

We are always ready, according to Christ's Command 
to Peter, to pay the Tribute, that we may offend no Man, 
and fo we are willing to pay Taxes, and to render unto Caefar 
thofe Tilings that are Caefar' s, and to God thofe Things that 


are God's, although we think ourfelves very weak to give 
God his due Honour, he being a Spirit and Life, and we 
only Duft and Allies. 

We are alfo willing to be fubjeir. to the higher Powers, 
and to give in the manner Paul directs us;— for he beareth 
the Sword not in vain, for he is the Minijler of God, a Re- 
venger to execute Wrath upon him that doeth Evil. 

This Teftimony we lay down before our worthy 
AfTembly, and all other Perfons in Government, letting 
them know, that we are thankfull as above-mentioned, and 
that we are not at Liberty in Confcience to take up Arms 
to conquer our Enemies, but rather to pray to God, who 
has Power in Heaven and on Earth, for US and THEM. 

We alfo crave the Patience of all the Inhabitants of this 
Country, — what they think to fee clearer in the Doctrine 
of the blefled Jesus Christ, we will leave to them and 
God, finding ourfelves very poor ; for Faith is to proceed 
out of the Word of God, which is Life and Spirit, and a 
Power of God, and our Confcience is to be inftrucl:ed by 
the fame, therefore we beg for Patience. 

Our fmall Gift, which we have given, we gave to thofe 
who have Power over us, that we may not offend them, as 
Christ taught us by the Tribute Penny. 

We heartily pray that God would govern all Hearts of 
our Rulers, be they high or low, to meditate thofe good 
Things which will pertain to OUR and THEIR Happi- 

The above Declaration, Jigned by a Number of Elders and 
Teachers of the Society of Menonijls, and fome of the German 
Baptijls, prefented to the Honorable Houfe of Affcmbly on the 
yth Day of November, iyyS-i was mo ft graciously received. 


Among the earliest settlers of Germantown were the 
Mennonites who came from Holland. Their emigration 
has been portrayed in a very graphic style by Samuel 
W. Pennypacker, Esq., in his Biographical arid Historical 
Sketches, which is already given in this work. If these 
articles were read by the residents of Germantown, they 
would have occasion to feel proud of the early settlers. 

It was in 1688 that Willem Rittinghuysen, now Ritten- 
house, with his wife and two sons, Klaus (Nicholas) and 
Gerhard (Garrett), and a daughter, Elizabeth, arrived in 
Germantown from New York. He was the first Men- 
nonite preacher in Germantown, or in America, as far as 
known, but he was not yet ordained as Bishop, and the 
congregation at Germantown had no Bishop, and, accord- 
ing to the discipline of the Church, no one to ordain him, 
consequently a letter was sent from Germantown to the 
congregation at Altona for advice. 

Miss Anna Brons writes from Holland that said letter 
was lost, but abstracts of an answer to further correspond- 
ence, found in the archives of the Mennonite church at 
Altona, show that the answer was directed to Claas 
Behrend, Paul Roosen, Heinrich Van Sintern, Harmen 
Van Karsdorp and Isaac Van Sintern, all Mennonites, 
who left the Hamburg Altona Mennonite Congregation 
and emigrated to America in 1700 and came to German- 
town. The Ministers and Deacons of the Altona Con- 
gregation took the matter under earnest consideration, 
and as no one seemed willing at that time to undertake 
so tedious and dangerous a voyage across the sea to in- 
stall a Bishop at Germantown, they wrote a letter to 
the Germantown congregation, authorizing; one of the 
brethren to perform that duty, and admonished them to 


pray that God may be with them in their undertaking 
and bless them in performing such an important duty. 
This letter was signed by four ministers of the Hamburg 
Altona congregation, viz. : Bishop Gerritt Roosen, aged 
90 years, Pieter Van Helle, Jacob Van Kampen and Jean 
de Lanoi. In consequence of the above instructions, 
Willem Rittenhouse was installed as Bishop of the first 
Mennonite church in America, at Germantown, about 
1 70 1. In a letter written to Amsterdam, dated Septem- 
ber 3d, 1708, from which these particulars are derived, 
and which was signed by Jacob Gaedschalk, Harmen 
Karsdorp, Martin Kolb, Isaac Van Sintern and Conrad 
Jansen, they presented " a loving and friendly" request 
for " some catechisms for the children and little testa- 
ments for the young." Besides, psalm books and Bibles 
were so scarce that the whole membership had but one 
copy, and even the meeting-house needed a Bible. They 
urged their request by saying " that the community is 
still weak and it would cost much money to get them 
printed, while the members who came here from Ger- 
many have spent everything and must begin anew, and 
all work in order to pay for the convenience of life of 
which they stand in need." 

Willem Rittenhouse, as stated before, was the first 
preacher in Germantown, afterwards elected as Bishop, 
emigrated to Germantown in 1688 and died in 1708, 
aged 64 years. 

Jacob Gaetshalck, also a Mennonite preacher, arrived 
and settled in Germantown in 1702. 

After the death of Bishop Rittenhouse two new 
preachers were chosen, names not known, but presum- 
ably they were Klaus (or Nicholas) Rittenhouse and Dirk 


Keyser, because Dirk Keyser officiated at the marriage 
of Jacob Kolb with Sarah Van Sintern in the year 1710. 
The same year eleven young people were added to the 
congregation through baptism, and two new deacons 
accepted its obligations. From this time there is no reg- 
ular record of the Germantown congregation until the 
year 1770. Still it is a well-known fact that the meetings 
have been kept regular, from the fact that the two new 
ministers as stated above did officiate at the time. Nich- 
olas Rittenhouse died in 1 730. We have also accounts 
of Jacob Gaetshalk being a preacher at Skippack in 1708, 
v but in 1 7 14 he lived yet in Germantown on the east side 
of Main Street, on lot No. 7, formerly belonging to Abra- 
ham Tunis, drawn in 1689 in the cave of Pastorius, which 
plan I have and will give in a subsequent chapter. The 
settlement of Skippack began in 1702, the first outgrowth 
of Germantown, which had its origin at Crefeld. Van 
Bebber gave one hundred acres of land on the Skippack 
for a Mennonite church and burying-ground. The church 
was built about 1725. Samuel W. Pennypacker says, 
" One of the oldest communities, if not the oldest of all, 
was that at Schiebach, or Germantown." So it seems 
Skippack and Germantown were considered one district, 
or one community. Many of the members at German- 
town moved to Skippack and attended the meeting at 
Germantown until the year 1725, when the meeting- 
house at Skippack was built. Afterwards ministers were 
chosen at Skippack, among whom were mentioned 
Martin Kolb, Henry Kolb, Claus Jansen, Michael Ziegler 
and Isaac Kassel. They are also mentioned as preachers 
at Germantown. Also Heinrich Hunsicker, who rode on 
horseback from the Perkiomen to Germantown on a Sun- 
day morning to preach. 


Watson, the annalist, says that in 1740 Christopher 
Dock taught school in the old Mennonite log church in 
Germantown. Dock was also a Mennonite and lived in 
Salford, Montgomery County. 

In 1770, at a congregational meeting, the following 
petition was prepared and agreed upon. It reads as fol- 
lows : " Memorandum of the cost and charges and pro- 
ceedings of the Building of the Baptists or Mennonists 
Meeting-house in Germantown. When, on the 20th day 
of January one thousand seven hundred and seventy, 
met a number of the Inhabitants of Germantown and 
People called Mennonists, and Unanimously agreed on a 
plan thereof, and appointed Jacob Keyser, sr., Nicholas 
Rittenhouse, Abraham Rittenhouse, and Jacob Knor, 
Managers of said Building &c. The following is a copy 
of the subscriptions & subscribers names, and also the 
cost of each particular of the aforesaid Building and the 
amount of sale of sundry old roofs &c." 

Then follow the names of fifty-eight subscribers, with 
the respective amounts. The lowest was 7s. 6d., and the 
highest ^ 11. The whole amount raised by subscription 

was . .• £i95 2S. yd. 

From sale of roof, etc., of the old house, 923 

Total amount of money raised, ... ^204 4s. iod. 
Whole cost of new house, .... 202 5 o 

Balance left after expenses paid . . . £1 19s. iod. 

I have also in my possession the accounts of expenses 
for the maintenance of their poor, from year to year, to 

The records also show that Communion was held by 


Bishop Andrew Ziegler in 1780, when twenty-six mem- 
bers communed ; in 1783, thirty-one members; in 1784, 
thirty-four members; in 1785, twenty-nine; in 1786, 
twenty-four, and in 1789, thirty members, and sixteen 
members being absent. There were twenty-five members 
in the Germantown congregation in 1 770 when the new 
house was built ; fifty-two new members were added in 
the following nineteen years, according to the Church 
records of those years, now in my possession. Andrew 
Ziegler officiated as Bishop at Germantown, how long 
afterwards the records do not show. 

The first record that we find of Jacob Funk is in 1774, 
and reads as follows: "In 1774 Jacob Funk, Preacher, 
joined, and Ann his wife joined, and Catharine Funk 
joined." According to the above he was a preacher when 
he joined the Germantown congregation. He was the 
great-grandfather of the author of this work. His father 
was a nephew of Bishop Heinrich Funk, who settled at 
the Indian Creek in Franconia Township, Montgomery 
County, in the year 17 19. They came either from Holland 
or the Palatinate. He was a fluent and earnest speaker 
and accomplished a great deal of good. He died March 
nth, 1 816, in the 86th year of his age, and is buried in 
the Germantown Mennonite burying-ground near the 
church door. It is also said by some of the older Friends 
that his father was a preacher, but nothing definite is 
known or on record. Jacob Funk was quite a prominent 
man in his day. He owned a farm on Willow Grove 
Road, about two miles east of Germantown. The house in 
which he dwelt remains there to this day, and is in good 
condition. It is a quaint structure. The front room 
was used as a reception room, and the back room was 


used as a horse stable in Revolutionary times ; later it has 
been renovated and utilized as a parlor. To the right 
of the reception room is a capacious room, which was 
used by Mr. Funk as his library and study, and in the 
rear of this room is another large room, which was 
cemented and used for storing produce, cabbage, pota- 
toes, etc. 

Mr. Funk was also a great financial loser by the depre- 
dations of the British at the time of the battle of German- 
town. They took from him all his live stock, of which 
he had a great quantity, and whatever else they could lay 
their hands on ; what they could not take away they 
destroyed, and about all they left was the farm itself. 
They wanted that portion of the earth, but could not very 
well take it along. His daughter Elizabeth happened 
to be in Germantown at the time of the fight, and could 
not get away in time, and hid in a cellar until the battle 
was over; she was twelve years of age at that time. 
She afterwards in mature years became the wife of Daniel 
Kulp, and was the grandmother of the writer of this 

No indemnity was ever paid to Mr. Funk for these dep- 
redations, probably for the reason that he never asked 
for it. He lost pretty near all he had, but he managed 
to purchase a yoke of oxen, with which he did his farm- 
ing, and in spite of his great reverses he again prospered 
very substantially. 

There is another bit of Revolutionary history attached 
to this farm. It is a well-known historical fact that Gen- 
eral Murray was killed at the battle of Germantown. It 
is not generally known, however, that a vault was built 
on Mr. Funk's farm wherein to place the General's body. 


Such a vault was built, and it remains on the farm to-day; 
it is a great curiosity even now. This farm was in the 
Funk family about one hundred and ten years. Prior to 
the building of the present church edifice, the Quakers 
and Mennonites frequently worshiped together, and most 
amicable feelings existed between them until the time 
when the Quakers rather presumed too much upon the 
generosity of the Mennonites, by claiming the honor of 
consummating such a thing as we have hereinbefore 
briefly referred to, viz. : the honor of being the authors 
of the protest against slavery, when it cannot be shown 
that one of the signers was a Quaker. The two Op den 
Graeffs (says S. W. Pennypacker) w r ere Mennonites. It 
is also presumed that Hendricks was a Mennonite. 
Daniel Francis Pastorius calls the Pietists his friends even 
nine years after the signing of the protest ; he wrote a 
pamphlet to his friends the Pietists in Germany, which 
was published at Amsterdam in 1697.* In the matter 
of the proclamation against slavery, it is pretty conclusive 
that the document does not bear a single Quaker signa- 
ture, while it is known that at that time a number of the 
Quakers were slaveholders. 

The ministers up to the present time, after Jacob Funk 
and Andrew Ziegler, were John Minnick, Mr. Hellerman, 
Abraham Hunsicker, Henry A. Hunsicker, Frank Hun- 
sicker, Israel Beidler, John Haldeman, A. H. Fredericks, 
Albert Funk and Nathaniel Bartolet Grubb, the present 

The membership of the Germantown church at the 
present time numbers about twenty, nearly the same 

* Pennypacker 's Historical and Biographical Sketches, p. 49. 


number that communed in the new church for the first 
time, December ioth, 1770. Rather a remarkable coin- 
cidence, is it not ? The small membership of the church 
may be considered extraordinary; but there is nothing 
so extraordinary about it when all the facts are consid- 
ered. We have stated that the Mennonites are a farm- 
ing people — tilling the soil is their favorite avocation. 
When property in Germantown became very valuable, a 
great number of the then Mennonite residents disposed 
of their farms at almost fabulous sums, and purchased 
farms in Montgomery, Bucks and Lancaster Counties, 
where many of them still reside. Those who have gone 
before have left a posterity who still cling alike to the 
farm and to the old faith. 

The Germantown Independent, of July 28th, 1883, has 
the following : " Of the doings of these early Mennonite 
settlers we have but scanty materials from which to 
draw." But Samuel W. Pennypacker, in his " Sketch of 
the Settlement of Germantown," has brought forth a 
document which " time has shown to have been the echo 
of the great wave that rolls around the world." It was 
the first public protest ever made on this continent against 
the holding of slaves; it is dated April 18th, 1688, and is 
signed by Francis Daniel Pastorius, Gerret Hendricks, 
Dirk Op den GraefT and Abraham Op den Graeff. The 
last two were Mennonites, and it is held quite probable 
that Hendricks was also of that faith. The protest was 
sent to a Friends' meeting ;a copy of the protest is given 
in a former part of this work. 

The ScJiwenksville Item, of November 2d, 1883, says: 
"The Crefeld colonists, who landed at Philadelphia and 
established themselves in German township, afterward a 


part of Germantown, in October, 1683, transplanted from 
the valley of the Rhine the spirit of the Mennonite fathers, 
who had struggled for centuries against the persecutions 
of the Church and State. These same Mennonites for- 
mulated the doctrine of American freedom in a protest 
against slavery as early as 1688, or almost a century 
before the Declaration of Independence. In fact, the 
history of the Mennonites of Pennsylvania is the history 
of a symmetrical superstructure of real liberty and relig- 
ion, reared upon the foundation laid by St. Paul, and whose 
doctrines were handed down in unbroken succession." 

Pastor S. F. Hotchkin says in an article in the German- 
town Telegraph, under date February 24th, 1886 : " Stock- 
ings had been made on hand frames in the Germantown 
homes from ' the settlement of Germantown by the Men- 
nonites.' " Also in the same paper, under date of June 2d, 
1886, when speaking of the Axe's graveyard, a short 
distance above the Mennonite church, afterward called 
the Concord burying-ground, he says : " When German- 
town was settled in 1683 to 1695, the Mennonites and 
Quakers were the two religious bodies of the town. At 
first their meetings were held in private houses, and it is 
supposed that at times they worshiped together in the 
same house till the building of their meeting-houses. It 
is not known that they had a special burying-place, and 
the dead were probably buried in their own ground. 
When the Mennonite church was built in 1708 it had its 
graveyard adjoining it for the burial of their members." 

In regard to the Axe's, afterward Concord, graveyard, 
he says : " The front wall on the main road was begun 
in May, 1724, by Dirk Johnson and John Frederick Axe." 
A list of those who aided the work is added, which 


should interest ancient Germantowners. We find the 
names of Paul Engel, Garret Rittinghausen, Hans Reyner, 
John Streepers, Johannes Jansen, Dennis Cunrads (Tunis 
Kunders), Peter Keyser, John Gorgas, Peter Shoemaker, 
Christopher Witt, Frantz Neff and many others. The 
work cost .£40 8s. 6d. 

Dirk Jansen and his wife Katrina were one of the thir- 
teen families who settled Germantown. They were the 
ancestors of this family as well as of the other Johnsons 
already noted, and were Mennonites. Paul Engel, above 
mentioned, also a Mennonite, is buried at Skippack, and 
the date on his grave-stone is 1723. In 1703 he declined 
to be a burgess in Germantown for conscientious reasons. 

Elizabeth Engel, wife of Charles, saw the wounded 
General Agnew carried past her house on a door. One 
of the family's horses was taken by the English and a 
poor one put in its place. 

It was from behind a wall which separated the Men- 
nonite burying-ground from the street that the British 
General Agnew was fired upon while at the head of a 
column of his soldiers and mortally wounded, during the 
Revolutionary War. The name of the perpetrator of the 
deed is carefully guarded to this day by the only person 
who knows the truth. Hans Boyer, a half-witted fellow 
of that day, claimed the credit of the deed, but it is said 
to have not rightfully belonged to him. General Agnew 
is buried in the Lower burying-ground, now Hood's 
Cemetery, Germantown. 



Names of the Members of the Mennonite Church at Germantown in iyo8 

when the first house was built. 

Pastor Jacob Godshalk, 
Bishop Willem Rittenhouse, 
Herman Carsdorp, 
Martin Kolb, 
Isaac Van Sintern, 
Conrad Johnson, 
Henry Kassel, and their wives, 
Herman Teyner, 
John Fry, 
Peter Connerts, 
Paul Klumpkes, 
Arnold Van Vossen, 
John Kolb, 
Jacob Kolb, 
Wynant Bowman, 
John Gorges, 
Cornelious Classen, 
Arnold Kuster, 
Mary Tuynen, 
Helena Frey, 
Gertrude Conners, 
Mary Van Vossen, 
The above is taken from Morgan 

Barbara Kolb, 
Ann Bowman, 
Margaret Huberts, 
Mary Sellen, 
Elizabeth Kuster, 
Margaret Tuysen, 
Altien Revenstock, 
John Nise, 
Hans Nise, 
John Lensen, 
Isaac Jacobs, 
Jacob Isaacs, 
Hendrick Sellen, 
John Connerts, 
Peter Keyser, 
Herman Kuster, 
Christopher Zimmerman, 
Sarah Van Sintern, 
Civilia Connerts, 
Altien Tysen, 
Catharine Casselberry, 
Civilia Van Vossen. 
Edwards' History, 1770. 

Names of the Members in iyyo when 
they appear on the Records. 

Jacob Keyser, Sen., 

& Margaret his wife, 
William Rittenhouse, Sen., 
Nicholas Rittenhouse 

& Sarah his wife, 
Susanna Nice, grany, 
Catharine Rife, 
Mary Stoneburner, 
Ann Heisler, grany, 
Barbara Bergman, 
Margaret Smith, 

the present house was built as 

William Hendricks 

& his wife, 

Mary Penninghausen, 
Abraham Rittenhouse 

& Ann his wife, 
Jacob Rittenhouse, carpenter, 

& Susanna his wife, 
Nicholas Johnson 

& Ann his wife, 
Ann Houpt, 
Jacob Rittenhouse, paper-maker, 


William Van Aiken, 
John Rittenhouse 

& Margaret his wife. 
John Keyser, cordwainer, 

& Elizabeth his wife, 
Jacob Knorr 

& Hannah his wife, 
Isaac Rittenhouse, 
Susanna Knorr, 
Isaac Kolb 

& Barbara his wife, 

Henry Roosen 
& his wife. 

Jacob Funk preacher joined 

& Ann his wife joined, 
Catherine Funk joined 

Cornelius Engle baptized 

& Teen his wife do 
Susanna Keyser do 

Continued on to 1789. 

He also says : " In about sixteen years (1727) this 
church had branched out to Skippack, Conestoga, Great 
Swamp and Manatany, and become five churches, to 
which appertained sixteen ministers, namely, Jacob God- 
shalk, Henry Kolb, Martin Kolb, Nicholas Johnson, 
Michael Zigler, John Gorgas, John Conrads, Nicholas 
Rittenhausen, Hans Burgholser, Christian Herr, Benedict 
Hirschy, Martin Baer, Johannes Bowman, Velti Clemmer, 
Daniel Langenacker and Jacob Beghtly." 

Hupert Cassel, born and raised in Towamencin"Town- 
ship, now Montgomery County, was also a Mennonite. 
He was the grandfather of Abraham H. Cassel, the great 
antiquarian of Harleysville, and lived to the age of about 
ninety years. He was for quite a number of years a deacon 
in the Mennonite congregation in Hatfield, Montgomery 
County, Pa. 

On Sunday, July 1 6th, 1876, Pastor N. B. Grubb, of 
Schwenksville, preached a Centennial sermon in the 
Germantown Mennonite church, from the text Psalm 
97 : 1. Among the audience were persons from different 
parts of this State, also from Massachusetts, New York, 
New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island.* 

* Church Records, p. 48. 


October 6th, 1883, Holy Communion was celebrated 
in the morning, Pastor Albert Funk officiating, this 
being Bi-Centennial day, or the two hundredth year since 
the organization of the Mennonite church at German- 
town. In the afternoon a meeting was held in com- 
memoration of the first meeting held in Germantown in 
the house of Thonis Kunders in 1683, when a small 
band of those early Christians assembled to give praise 
unto the Lord. This was the first Mennonite meeting 
known to have been held in America. 

Upon this occasion appropriate addresses were made 
by Samuel W. Pennypacker, giving sketches of the early 
history of the Mennonites in America, more particularly 
of them at Germantown, and was followed by Pastor 
John Oberholzer in the German language. 

On the same day, as mentioned above, religious service 
was also held in Crefeld, Prussia, from whence the first 
thirteen families came to settle Germantown. This 
service was held for the purpose of celebrating the first 
Mennonite meeting in America, which took place two 
hundred years ago. 

An Address 

At the Bi-Centennial Celebration of the Settlement 

of Germantown, Pa., and the Beginning of 

German Emigration to America. 

By Samuel W. Pennypacker. 

In the Philadelphia Academy of Music, on the evening of October 6th, 1883. 

Ladies and Gentlemen : 

The Teutonic races since the overthrow of the power 
of ancient Rome, which they brought about, have been 
in the van of thought and achievement. The only rival 
of the German and the Dutchman, in those things which 
mark broadly the pathway of human advancement, came 
from the same household. In the sixth century a tribe 
of Germans found their way across the North Sea to an 
island which in time they made their own, and to which 
they gave the name of Angleland. Like all of their 
stock, the men of this colony grew in substance and 
developed in intelligence, but they have ever since, in 
times of trial and difficulty, looked back to the Father- 
land for guidance and support. In 147 1 a man named 
Caxton was in Cologne learning the art of printing. He 
returned to* England to impart to his countrymen a 



knowledge of the new discovery, and the literature oi 
Chaucer, Shakespeare, Scott and Dickens became a pos- 
sibility. The impulse which Martin Luther gave to 
human thought, when he nailed his propositions to the 
church-door at Wittenberg, beat along the shores of the 
Atlantic, and the revolution of 1688, bringing with it the 
liberty of Englishmen, was one of the results. For the 
attainment of that liberty, England drove her own royal 
line beyond the seas and made the Stadtholder of Holland 
her king. From this day down to the present time every 
king of England has been a German. 

Early in the seventeenth century an English admiral 
went to Rotterdam for a wife. According to Pepys, who 
described her later, she was " a well-looked, fat, short old 
Dutch woman, but one that hath been heretofore pretty 
handsome, and I believe, hath more wit than her hus- 
band." The son of this woman was the Quaker William 
Penn. He who would know the causes for the settle- 
ment of Pennsylvania, the purest and in that it gave the 
best promise of what the future was to unfold, the most 
fateful of American colonies, must go to the Reformation 
to seek them. The time has come when men look back 
through William Penn and George Fox to their masters, 
Menno Simons, the Reformer of the Netherlands, Casper 
Schwenkfeld, the nobleman of Silesia, and Jacob Boehm, 
the inspired shoemaker of Gorlitz. In that great up- 
heaval of the sixteenth century there were leaders who 
refused to stop where Luther, Calvin and Zwinglius took 
a successful stand. The strong, controlling thought 
which underlay their teachings was, that there should be 
no exercise of force in religion. The baptism of an in- 
fant was a compulsory method of bringing it into the 


Church, and they rejected the doctrine ; an oath was a 
means of compelling the conscience, and they refused to 
swear ; warfare was a violent interference with the rights 
of others, and they would take part in no wars, even for 
the purpose of self-protection. More than all in its 
political significance and effect, with keen insight and 
clear view, hoping for themselves what the centuries since 
have given to us, they for the first time taught that the 
injunctions of Christ were one thing and the power of 
man another, that the might of the State should have 
nothing; to do with the creed of the Church, and that 
every man in matters of faith should be left to his own 
convictions. Their doctrines, mingled as must be ad- 
mitted with some delusions, spread like wildfire through- 
out Europe, and their followers could be found from the 
mountains of Switzerland to the dykes of Holland. They 
were the forlorn hope of the ages, and, coming into 
direct conflict with the interest of Church and State, they 
were crushed by the concentrated power of both. 

There is nothing in the history of Christendom like 
the suffering to which they were subjected, in respect to 
its extent and severity. The fumes from their burning 
bodies went up into the air from every city and village 
along the Rhine. The stories of their lives were told by 
their enemies and the pages of history were freighted with 
the records of their alleged misdeeds. The name of Ana- 
baptist, which was given them, was made a byword and 
reproach, and we shrink from it with a sense of only half- 
forgotten terror even to-day. The English representatives 
of this movement were the Quakers. Picart, after telling 
that some of the Anabaptists fled to England to spread 
their doctrines there, says: "The Quakers owe their rise to 


these Anabaptists."* The doctrine of the inner light was 
an assertion that every man has within himself a test of 
truth upon which he may rely, and was in itself an attack 
upon the binding character of authority. The seed from 
the sowings of Menno, wafted across from the Rhine to 
the Thames, were planted on English soil by George 
Fox and were brought by William Penn to Pennsylvania, 
where no man has ever been molested because of his 
religious convictions. Three times did William Penn, 
impelled by a sympathetic nearness of faith and methods, 
go over to Holland and Germany to hold friendly con- 
verse and discussion with these people, and it was very 
fitting that when he had established his province in the 
wilds of America, he should urge and prevail with them 
to cross the ocean to him. On this day, two hundred 
years ago, thirty-three of them, men, women and children, 
landed in Philadelphia. The settlement of Germantown 
has a higher import, then, than that thirteen families 
founded new homes, and that a new burgh, destined to 
fame though it was, was built on the face of the earth. 
It has a wider significance even than that here was the 
beginning of that immense emigration of Germans who 
have since flocked to these shores. 

Those thirteen men, humble as they may have been 
individually, and unimportant as may have been the 
personal events of their lives, holding as they did 
opinions which were banned in Europe, and which only 
the fulness of time could justify, standing as they did 
on what was then the outer picket line of civilization, 

* Picart was here cited because he makes the statement directly and in 
few words. Upon this subject consult Barclay's " Religious Societies of 
the Commonwealth," Hortensius' " Histoire des Anabaptistes," and " Penn- 
sylvania Magazine," Vol. 4, p. 4. 


best represented the meaning of the colonization of Penn- 
sylvania and the principles which lie at the foundation 
of her institutions. Better far than the Pilgrims who 
landed at Plymouth, better even than the Quakers who 
established a city of brotherly love ; they stood for that 
spirit of universal toleration, which found no abiding 
place save in America. Their feet were planted directly 
upon that path which leads from the darkness of the 
middle ages down to the light of the nineteenth century, 
from the oppressions of the past to the freedom of the 
present. Bullinger, the great reviler of the Anabaptists, 
in detailing in 1560 their many heresies, says they taught 
that " the government shall and may not assume control 
of questions of religion or faith."* 

No such attack upon the established order of things 
had ever been made before, and the potentates were wild 
in their wrath. Menno went from place to place with a 
reward upon his head ; men were put to death for giv- 
ing him shelter, and two hundred and twenty-nine of his 
followers were burned and beheaded in one city alone. ' 

But two centuries after Bullinger wrote there was put 
into the constitution of Pennsylvania, in almost identical 
language : " No human authority can, in any case what- 
ever, control or interfere with the right of conscience. "f 
The fruitage is here, but the planting and watering were 
along the Rhine. And to-day the Mennonites and their 
descendants are to be found from the Delaware River to 
the Columbia. The Schwenckfelders, hunted out of 
Europe in 1734, still meet upon the Skippack on the 
24th of every September, to give thanks unto the Lord 

* " Die Oberkeit solle und moege sich der Religion oder Glaubens sachen 
nicht annemmen." Der Widertonfferen Ursprung,\>. 18. 

f Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Article I, Section 3. 


for their deliverance. This is the tale which Lensen, 
Kunders, Lucken, Tyson, Opdengraeff and the rest, as 
they sat down to weave their cloth and tend their vines 
in the woods of Germantown, had to tell to the world. 
A great poet has sung their story, and you Germans 
will do well to keep the memory of it green for all time 
to come. It cannot be gainsaid that the influence upon 
American life and institutions of that German emigration 
which began with thirty-three persons in 1683, and had 
swollen in 1882 to 250,630, has fulfilled the promise 
given by its auspicious commencement. The Quakers 
maintained control of their province down to the time of 
the Revolution, and they were enabled to do it by the sup- 
port of the Germans. The dread with which the Germans 
inspired the politicians of the colonial days was exces- 
sive. In 1727 James Logan wrote to the Proprietary : 
" You will soon have a German colony here, and, per- 
haps, such a one as Britain once received from Saxony 
in ye fifth century." 

Said Thomas Graeme to Thomas Penn in a letter in 
1750: "The Dutch, by their numbers and industry, 
will soon become masters of the province." Many were 
the devices to weaken them. It was proposed to 
establish schools among them where only English 
should be taught ; to invalidate all German deeds ; to 
suppress all German printing presses and the importa- 
tion of German books, and to offer rewards for inter- 
marriages. Samuel Purviance wrote to Colonel James 
Burd, in 1765, that the way to do was "to let it be 
spread abroad through the country that your party intend 
to come well-armed to the election, . . . and that you will 
thrash the sheriff, every inspector, Quaker and Mennonist 


to a jelly." But, as a disappointed manager wrote from 
Kingsessing the same year : " All in vain was our 
labor. . . . Our party at the last election have loosed 
(lost) all." 

The Speaker of the first Federal House of Representa- 
tives was a German, and with Simon Snyder, in 1808, 
began the regime of the eight German governors of 
Pennsylvania. To represent her military renown during 
the Revolutionary War, Pennsylvania has put the statue 
of Muhlenberg in the Capitol at Washington. The 
terrific and bloody struggle with slavery in this country, 
which ended at Appomattox in 1865, began at German- 
town so long ago as 1688. The Murat of the Rebellion, 
he who afterwards so sadly lost his life among the 
savages of the West, had traced his lineage to the Men- 
nonite, Paul Kuster, of Germantown, and if the records 
were accessible, it could, it may be, be carried still further 
back to that Peter Kuster who was beheaded at Saardam 
in 1535. Another of the descendants of those earliest 
emigrants, the youngest general of the war, planted his 
victorious flag upon the ramparts of Fort Fisher. 

The Schwenkfelder forefathers of Hartranft, Major- 
General, Governor, and once urged by this State for the 
Presidency, lie buried along the Perkiomen. He who 
reads the annals of the war will find that among those 
who did the most effective work were Albright, Beaver, 
Dahlgren, Heintzleman, Hoffman, Rosecrans, Steinwehr, 
Schurz, Sigel, Weitzel and Wistar. 

The liberties of the press in America were established 
in the trial of John Peter Zenger. Man never knew the 
distance of the sun and stars until David Rittenhouse, 
of Germantown, made his observations in 1769. (He 


was born in Roxborough Township, near Germantown, 
in 1732.) The oldest publishing house now existing on 
this continent was started by Sauer, in Germantown, in 
1738. The first paper mill was built by Rittinghuysen 
upon the Wissahickon Creek, in 1690. (It was on a 
branch of the Wissahickon.) The German Bible ante- 
dates the English Bible in America by nearly forty 
years, and the largest book published in the colonies 
came from the Ephrata press in 1749. From Pastorius, 
the enthusiast, of highest culture and gentlest blood, 
down to Seidensticker, who made him known to us, the 
Germans have been conspicuous for learning. To the 
labors of the Moravian missionaries, Heckewelder and 
Zeisberger, we largely owe what knowledge we possess 
of Indian history and philology. Samuel Cunard, a 
descendant of Thonis Kunders, in the fifth generation, 
established the first line of ocean steamers between 
America and England, and was made a British baronet. 
If you would see the work of the American Germans 
of to-day, look about you. Is there a scientist of more 
extended reputation than Leidy? Is there a more emi- 
nent surgeon than Gross ? Who designed your Centen- 
nial buildings, and in whose hands did you trust the 
moneys to pay for them ? The president of your Uni- 
versity, the most enterprising of American merchants, 
and the chief justice of your State are alike of German 
descent. The great bridge just completed, after years of 
labor and immense expenditures, which ties Brooklyn to 
New York, was built by a German. The financier of the 
nation during the Rebellion undertook to construct a 
railroad from the greatest of the inland seas to the widest 
of the oceans. He fell beneath the weight of the task ; 
a German completed it 


But the time allotted to me does not permit me to 
more than suggest a few points in the broad outlines of 
German achievement. The hammer of Thor, which at 
the dawn of history smote upon the Himalayas, now 
resounds from the Alleghenies to the Cascades. 

The Germanic tide which then began to pour into 
Europe has now reached the Pacific. In its great march, 
covering twenty centuries of time, it has met with no 
obstacle which it has not overcome ; it has been opposed 
by no force which it has not overthrown, and it has 
entered no field which it has not made more fruitful. 
America will have no different story to tell. The future 
cannot belie.the past. Manners and institutions change ; 
the rock crumbles into dust ; the shore disappears into 
the sea, but their is nothing more permanent than the 
characteristics of a race. 

Already the rigidity and angularity which Puritanism 
has impressed upon this country have begun to disappear; 
already we feel the results of a broader scope, a sterner 
purpose and of more persistent labor. And in the years 
yet to be, America will have greater gifts to offer unto 
the generations of men, will be better able to attain that 
destiny which, in the providence of God, she is to fulfil 
because she has taken unto herself the outpourings of 
that people, which neither the legions of Caesar, nor Papal 
power, nor the genius of a Bonaparte were able to subdue. 

[The above address was delivered in the Academy of 
Music on the evening of October 6th, 1883, by Samuel 
W. Pennypacker, member of the Philadelphia Bar, and 
great-grandson of Matthias Pennypacker, first Mennonite 
minister and bishop of the Mennonite congregation at 
Phcenixville, Chester County.] 

Report of the Indian Mission 

Conducted under the Auspices of the General Con- 
ference of the New School Mennonites. 

By Pastor S. S. HAURY. 

Cantonment, Indian Territory, May 4th, 1886. 

The Mennonite Mission in Darlington, Indian Terri- 
tory, was established in 1 880, in the Spring, among the 
Arapahoe Indians. One year later we erected a mission 
house and began with a mission and boarding school, 
having eighteen pupils, boys and girls, at the commence- 
ment. The mission house had just been finished when 
it was destroyed by fire on the 19th of February, 1882. 
In this trial we lost our only child, nine months old, and 
three Indian children. We carried on our school in 
hospital tents until the fall of that year, when our mission 
house had been rebuilt to double the capacity of our first 

This same year a military post, fifty-six miles north- 
west of Darlington, was vacated, and we were urged by 
the Indian agent, John D. Miles, to take charge of these 
military buildings at Cantonment and make use of them 
in educating, Christianizing and civilizing the Arapahoe 
and Cheyenne Indians located in that vicinity, believing 
that our Lord and Master had opened for us a new and 
wider door. 



Brother H. R. Voth having received charge of our 
mission work at Darlington, I moved with my family to 
Cantonment in February, 1883, to raise up the Cross of 
Christ, bringing the Gospel of goodwill to men in a place 
where shortly before the ensigns of an army signalized 
war and bloodshed. 

In the Fall of 1883 we began at this place a mission 
and boarding school for both the Arapahoe and Chey- 
enne Indians. The school was begun with fifteen chil- 
dren of both sexes. The school work, however, is not 
our only mission work, although it gives us for the pres- 
ent our strongest hold with our people to bring the 
Gospel near their understanding and near their heart. 
We have Sunday-schools and regular meetings for our 
older Indians. As the children are encouraged to learn 
and to talk English, and as they are taught only in this 
language, we have to speak to their people through inter- 
preters in their own tongue. 

I also wish to say here that our school work centres in 
teaching our children the contents of the Bible and in 
trying to lead them to Christ. As we teach our children 
to read and to write, and as we daily and continually 
point them to Christ as their only Redeemer, we do not 
and dare not neglect to teach them to work. We preach 
the Gospel in season and out of season, but unless we 
convince our Indians by a true Christian life, daily and 
continually exhibited before them, that to eat their bread 
in the sweat of their brow is no curse and no shame, but 
a blessing and honor for them as well as for the white man, 
they will not be Christianized. In getting the Indians to 
work, to provide for themselves, and to leave their life of 
sluggishness and indolence, we are trying to colonize 


them and get them located in houses. We have now 
eighteen families living in houses at this place, and several 
are building houses for themselves this Spring. 

As to the success of our missionary work, I can say- 
that it has not been in vain ; I can see how the Indians 
have advanced in all respects very distinctly. But they will 
not be Christianized in a few years ; it will take many 
years of hard work, much patience and perseverance, and 
a life of prayer. And not always that which seems suc- 
cess is such, whilst often that which is real success 
appears to be just the reverse at the time. Our school 
at Darlington has an enrolment of forty-eight, and the 
school at this place of sixty-eight children. In Kansas 
we have now twenty children in school. 

S. S. Haury. 


A Historical Sketch of the Early Mennonites in Vir- 
ginia, communicated by Abraham Blosser, 
Editor of the " Watchful Pilgrim." 

I will now give you some items and facts concerning 
the Mennonites in Virginia, but the difficulty in getting 
the exact dates of the first Mennonite settlers in the 
Valley of Virginia is due to the fact that few, if any, of the 
first Mennonite emigrants kept any records of either their 
family or churches. Their education generally was meagre 
and almost exclusively German, and in course of time the 
mother tongue ceased to be taught in the schools, and 
the English language almost entirely introduced in the 
schools and generally spoken, so that few could read 
German, and old records, account books and other papers 
containing historic facts or records of the early Men- 
nonites, were no longer saved or cared for. For this 
reason we know so little of the early emigrants in this 
valley. The following is an extract from a book entitled 
Kerchevals History of the Valley of Virginia, by Samuel 
Kercheval, printed by John Gatewood, at Woodstock, 
Va., in 1850, second edition, chap. 5, p. 50: "A large 
majority of our first emigrants were from Pennsylvania, 
composed of native Germans and German descent. There 
were, however, a number directly from Germany, some 
9 ( I2 9) 


from Maryland and New Jersey, and a few from New 
York. These emigrants brought with them the religious 
habits and customs of their ancestors. They were com- 
posed generally of three religious sects, viz. : Lutherans, 
Mennonists and Calvinists, with a few Dunkards. They 
generally settled in colonies, each sect pretty much to- 

The Valley of Virginia is composed of all that scope of 
country lying between the Blue Ridge and the Allegheny 
range, varying from thirty to fifty miles in width and 
about two hundred miles in length. The territory now 
comprising the Counties of Page, Powel's Ford and the 
Woodstock Valley, between West Fort Mountain and 
North Mountain, extending from the neighborhood of 
Stephensburg for a considerable distance into the County 
of Rockingham, was settled almost exclusively by Ger- 
mans. They were very tenacious in the preservation of their 
language, religion, customs and habits. In what is now 
Page County the inhabitants were almost exclusively of 
the Mennonite persuasion ; but few Lutherans and Cal- 
vinists settled among them in other sections of the territory. 
The Mennonites were remarkable for their strict adherence 
to all the moral and religious observances required by 
this sect. Their children were early instructed in the 
principles and ceremonies of their religion, habits and 
customs. They were generally farmers, and took great 
care of their stock ; and with few exceptions they strictly 
prohibited their children from going to the dance or 
juvenile amusements, so common to other religious sects 
of the Germans." 

On page ninety of the above named book, among 
other accounts of Indian massacres is a statement of 


the massacre of John Roads, a Mennonite minister, in 
the latter part of August, 1766, by a party of eight In- 
dians and a white villain, who crossed Powel's Ford to 
the south fork of the Shenandoah River, where Roads 
resided, and shot him standing in his door. His wife 
and one of his sons were killed in the yard, another of 
his sons in the cornfield. Elizabeth, his eldest daughter, 
picked up her little sister, sixteen or eighteen months old, 
and ran into the barn and through a hempfield to the 
river, which she crossed and escaped. One of his sons 
running away was shot and killed when nearly across 
the river. Two of his daughters and two sons were 
captured, but one of the boys, the youngest, was sickly, 
and as he could not travel fast enough they killed him ; 
the two daughters refused to go further, and they also 
were killed. The other son got away from the Indians 
after three years of captivity, and came home to his friends. 
This was the last Indian massacre in the Page Valley. 

For a while the Mennonite Church was prosperous in 
what is now the Page County (formerly part of Shenan- 
doah and Rockingham Counties), but in course of time 
some dissensions took place and some of their children 
joined the Baptist and other societies more popular in 
the eyes of the world than the Mennonites. In later 
times there were no ministers there, and the Church was 
waited on by the ministers from Rockingham County, 
and it is said that there were not over five members of 
the Mennonite Church in Page County. In former times 
there were a number of Mennonite families in the vicinity 
of Woodstock, and northward towards Strasburg and 
Stevens City (formerly Newtown) — Stauffer and Graybill 
were preachers there — but these have nearly all been 


swallowed up by other societies, as is so apt to be the 
case in this our progressive age (progressive in worldly 
popularity). There are yet some members in Shenan- 
doah County, but the Mennonites at present have no 
meeting-house in either Page or Shenandoah Counties. 
As in former times the Mennonites of the Valley of Vir- 
ginia had no meeting-houses, but held their meetings in 
private houses, so there never were any built in what is 
now Page County, nor in Shenandoah County, and by 
the time building meeting-houses came more into vogue, 
the Church in these two counties dwindled down al- 
most to nothing, while the Church in Rockingham and 
Augusta Counties increased. The first meeting-house in 
Rockingham was Frissel's, built in 1822 and rebuilt in 
about 1859. The one at the Pike was built in 1825 and 
rebuilt in 1878; 40 feet wide and 50 feet long.' The one 
at Brenneman's was built in 1826 and rebuilt in 1875 ; 
40 feet wide and 50 feet long. The one at Weaver's 
was built in 1827 and rebuilt in 1880; 50 feet wide and 
70 feet long. That at Mt. Clinton was built in 1873; 30 
feet wide and 40 feet long. The one at the Bank was 
built in 1849, and the one at Zion in 1885. There are 
several other meeting-houses in this county, which have 
been built since the war, owned partly by the Men- 
nonites, as that at the Plains, New Dale, White Hall, 
North River and Dry River. Besides, meetings are held 
in school-houses in different parts of the county. There 
are three meeting-houses in Augusta County, viz. : Kin- 
dig's, Hildebrand's and Mt. Pleasant. There were Men- 
nonites in this vicinity as early as 18 16, when a person 
by the name of Bishop was officiating as Bishop, and 
John Shenk and John Fauver were ministers. (This is 
the statement of the present Bishop, Jacob Hildebrand.) 


Formerly the Mennonites held their meetings in pri- 
vate -houses. In what year Kindig's meeting-house was 
first used by the Mennonites my informant could not 
tell, but it was bought by the Mennonites many years 
ago. Formerly it was used as a school-house, called 
Hall's school-house. It was then remodeled and used 
as a meeting-house until the year 1885, when the whole 
structure was taken down and a new one built in its place, 
which is now completed, and the first meeting in the 
new house was held May 30th, 1 SS6. The meeting-house 
at Hildebrand's was built many years ago, and rebuilt in 
1876. The house at Mt. Pleasant is a large one, built 
about 1870. There is a meeting held also at Union 

In Frederick County there are three regular places of 
meeting, viz. : Keurstown Church, a large new house, 
built in 1875 ; the other two places are school-houses, 
Kaufifman's and Macedonia. In Pendleton County, West 
Virginia, there was a new meeting-house built in 1885, 
32 by 38 feet, called Miller's Meeting-house. As there 
is no minister in Pendleton County yet, the Rockingham 
and Augusta County ministers have charge of that 

There are also meetings held by the Mennonites at 
a place called Lost River, in Hardy Couaty, West 

There are also meetings held by the Mennonites in 
Shenandoah County, at Haldeman's Creek school-house. 
In former times there was a small community of Menno- 
nites in Greenbriar County, West Virginia. A few mem- 
bers live there yet, but they have had no resident minister 
for probably fifty years. Coffman was their last minister. 
They are occasionally visited by other ministers. 


Trials and Afflictions of the Virginia Mennonites 
During the Late Civil War. 

When the war of i860 broke out the Mennonites, as 
an anti-slavery party or society, were in danger of being 
somewhat roughly treated or imposed upon, as this was 
a war for slavery by the seceeded States. But fortunately 
the Mennonites did not, comparatively speaking, cover 
much of the seceded territory, and the extreme South 
knew very little about them, while that of the Friends, or 
Quaker denomination, was principally in the Northern 
States. The principal body of the Mennonites within the 
then so-called " Confederate States " was in the Valley of 
Virginia; so, also, were the Dunkers, or Brethren, as they 
style themselves. .Though many of the more rigid war 
men among the Secessionists angrily denounced these 
non-resistant anti-slavery societies in the most distasteful 
manner imaginable, yet, strange to say, most of the prin- 
cipal officers among those who knew them personally, 
and their religious teachings, their modest, upright, 
honest and inoffensive deportment,, were inclined to favor 
them, though some of the unintelligent officers were 
harshly against them. 

There \?as a militia draft made in May, 186 1, and a 
number of the Mennonites and Dunkers, and their sons 
over eighteen years of age, were drafted, and from the way 
the draft took in these non-resistants in several places it 
looked very suspicious of fraud. They were taken into 
the army, then near Harper's Ferry, Va., and though 
they were brought into ranks, they could, not, under the 
severest threats, be made to fire a musket. So they were 


a dead drag in the army, and only in the way, or rather 
a hindrance there. 

About the middle of July, 1861, a call was made by 
the Confederates for the entire force; i. e., every able- 
bodied man between the age of eighteen and forty-five 
years was called into the service of the government. 
Upon this many of the members of these societies, and 
their sons, kept themselves hid, and many secretly 
crossed the picket lines and came to the Northern States. 
Some time in August or September about seventy men 
crossed the mountains into West Virginia, intending to go 
to the Northern States by that route, under the guidance of 
Brother Daniel Suters, but they were captured by the 
Confederate pickets near Petersburg, in what is now 
called Grant County, West Virginia. They were taken 
to Castle Thunder, in the city of Richmond, Va., as 
prisoners for attempted desertion to the enemy. And as 
regards myself, I escaped the aforenamed draft, but ex- 
pected that another would soon follow, and was deter- 
mined not to be dragged into the army if it could possibly 
be avoided. I did not want to go to the North and leave 
my family, consisting of my wife and four small children, 
in a land of terror. Though I could not stay with them 
all the time, I thought I wanted to be, if possible, where 
I could at chance times, perhaps, render them aid and 
assistance, so I immediately began to make preparations 
to hide in a secluded place in a deep hollow, some dis- 
tance up the mountains, about sixteen miles away from 
home, which distance I could go and come fn a night, 
being brisk of foot. But no one knows what a trying 
crisis this was to me. One night I carried some pro- 
visions to this hiding place and stayed about three days. 


Living now away from all human beings, I earnestly 
sought the aid and assistance of the Most High, with 
fasting and prayer. I trust the Lord heard me, and it 
seemed a way was opened for me. It was in July, 1861. 
When I got home again word came to me by a friend 
that a way to escape military duty was open through a 
certain lame Methodist preacher, George W. Stanly, who 
had been selling Bibles for the Bible Society before the 
war. He was a poor man, with a family to support ; but 
as his business was stopped when the war commenced, 
he applied for and sent in a bid for a certain mail route, 
and it was awarded to him at $199 per year, but after 
carrying it a short time he found it a task too great for 
his capacity, and was advised by a friend of his, who 
imagined he saw a chance for him to sell his mail route 
to one of us non-resistants, as an exemption from mili- 
tary duty. This information was brought to me just at 
the time I came home, and I immediately went to see Mr. 
Stanly in Harrisonburg, our county seat, and offered 
him $1,000 for his route on condition that it exempted me 
from military duty, which he accepted, and an instrument 
of writing was prepared and signed to this effect. On the 
same day a call was issued for every able-bodied man to 
be pressed into the Confederate army. The excite- 
ment then was great, and the news that the crippled 
preacher sold his mail route and that a sound man was 
taking his place, to be exempt from military duty, was 
raised and spread over the town in a very short time 
after the bargain was made, and finding that it aroused 
public disapprobation, I immediately applied for and 
got another mail route of the Confederate Govern- 
ment, as a continuation of the route that had been 


let out to Stanly. The Post Office Department having 
a few days before concluded that the two routes 'could 
and should be carried by one carrier, I went right in and 
got orders to take charge of the two routes next day, and 
as soon as the indignant public was aware that I had the 
two routes to carry, in place of one by Mr. Stanly (who 
had a good reputation and the sympathy of the public), 
which he could barely have carried; all was right and 
everybody was satisfied and became my friends, being 
pleased that the poor crippled preacher had got one 
thousand dollars. I now had an opportunity to be out 
in public, instead of keeping hid (as I imagined I would 
have to do during the war). I was not compelled to go 
with the mail where there was danger, which I regarded 
as a favor in war times, and people along my route ex- 
pected me to bring the latest and most reliable news for 
which they were very anxious, which I gave as I got it, 
sometimes adding my opinion as to its correctness and 
tried to avoid giving occasion to dangerous questions 
regarding my sentiments. Thus I carried the mail for 
nearly four years, by the help of the Most High, without 
meeting with any serious difficulty, not considering the 
depredations on my premises usual in times of war. 

I will now give the reader a further statement concern- 
ing the seventy men who were captured in the attempt 
to cross the mountains into West Virginia under the 
guidance of Daniel Suters, as above referred to. The 
party consisted of a number of our Mennonite brethren 
and some of the non-resistant Dunkards. They were 
taken to Richmond as prisoners for attempted desertion. 
Their time of imprisonment was about six weeks from 
the time they left home until they reached home again. 


But this was a serious and solemn time, and during this 
time they, as well as their loved ones at home, offered 
many prayers to the throne of grace in their sore trials 
and afflictions. Though the Lord suffered them to be 
severely tried, which will show that the Lord cares for 
his people as for the apple of your eye, He was yet mer- 
ciful unto them ; though they were threatened to be 
taken out and shot, yet the hand of the Almighty did not 
permit their enemies to do so. The Lord undoubtedly 
had let all this to come to pass for a wise purpose, as the 
inspired Word tells us, " All things work together for 
good to those who love God." Their prayers were heard 
and answered in due time. About one-half of the above- 
mentioned prisoners were Dunkards. They became very 
friendly to us at the time the prisoners were tried. They 
had no published discipline or confession of faith, as they 
say the Bible is their discipline and confession of faith, 
and when our confession of faith was brought into court 
at Richmond by Algernon S. Gray, Attorney at Law, 
the Dunkards claimed to hold exactly the same non- 
resistant doctrine that we do in respect to war. And if 
these seventy prisoners had not been captured and taken 
prisoners to the Confederate Capital, and their doctrine 
and belief been made known by this exciting occurrence, 
and explained demonstratively by a high Confederate 
official in a way that gave them credit, the non-resistant 
anti-slavery societies would certainly never have gotten 
the golden privilege of staying at home on their farms 
with their loved ones in such a terrible war time, but 
would most certainly have been very severely dealt with 
as anti-war and anti-slavery men. What wonderful ways 
the Lord has to protect those who love Him ! Later, a 


bill was introduced in the Confederate Congress concern- 
ing these non-resistant societies, and it happened that 
one of the members of the Confederate Congress was the 
above named lawyer, Algernon S. Gray, who came right 
from their neighborhood, viz. : Harrisonburg, Va., who 
knew all about these defenseless people, and it seemed 
the Lord guided his tongue in explaining the case satis- 
factorily to his fellow-members of the Confederate Con- 
gress. He showed them a copy of their confession of 
faith, a copy published by Bishop Peter Burkholder, of 
Virginia, in 1857. He showed to them clearly that 
these people were honest in their way of thinking. Be- 
sides, they were frugal, industrious, and generally 
farmers, who have the best land in the renowned Valley 
of Virginia in their possession, and that they were thus 
the producers of a great source of provisions to feed the 
army. " Let them," said he, " stay unmolested on their 
productive farms, and they will continue to produce pro- 
visions that we need and must have to keep up the army. 
But if you take these non-resistants away from their 
farms, and force them in the army, they are utterly use- 
less in the militia. We have already tried them, and 
they were a dead drag there. They would suffer death 
before they would fight. But let them stay on their 
farms and they will do their duty promptly in support 
of the army, in producing provisions more abundantly 
than any other people put in their place would do ; we 
are badly in need of just such farmers as these people 
are." This argument prevailed ; and the Confederate 
Congress passed an act that the Mennonites, Dunkards 
Quakers and Nazarites should be exempted from 
military duty by paying five hundred dollars Confederate 


money into the treasury. This these non-resistants 
gladly accepted, and those who had not already left the 
country stayed on their farms up to near the close of the 
war, when some of them left, when many of their homes 
were desolated by the torch. But strange to say, and 
something I cannot account for, a much greater percent- 
age proportionately of the property belonging to the non- 
resistants in the Valley of Virginia was desolated by fire 
than that of the secessionists. At one time General 
Sheridan gave orders that eveiy building within a circuit 
of ten miles around should be burned, in revenge for 
the supposed assassination of his Chief Engineer, Meigs, 
near Dayton, in Rockingham County, Va., and part of 
this order was already executed when General Sheridan 
learned that Meigs had been killed in a fair hand-to-hand 
fight, and revoked the order. Nearly all the burned 
property was that of non-resistants. The principal part 
of the burning was right in a neighborhood where these 
non-resistant people were most thickly settled. But 
when General Sheridan's army fell back again in 1864 
they burned the mills, barns, etc., for the purpose of 
destroying provisions, so that the country was much 
devastated through this valley, and a much greater per- 
centage of this burning proportionately, as referring to 
non-resistants and rebels, was the property of non- 
resistants, as also in the case of the stock driven away 
and destroyed. There were many non-resistants in this 
valley, as the conservative Dunkards numbered, perhaps, 
about five members to our one, and many of them had 
much property. They owned many of the mills that 
were burned. 

The Mennonites of Virginia all belong to one General 


Conference, which is held semi-annually in the follow- 
ing manner : First, those in Augusta County, or Upper 
District, consists of the following members : Jacob 
Hildebrand is their Bishop, and their ministers are Jacob 
R. Hildebrand, Isaac Grow, Jacob N. Driver; their 
deacons are Jacob Landis, Martin Brunk, A. P. Heat- 
wole and Samuel Weaver. 

Those in the Middle District in Rockingham County : 
Bishop, Samuel Coffman ; ministers, Daniel Heatwole, 
Gabriel D. Heatwole, Peter S. Heatwole, Joseph F. 
Heatwole, Solomon Beery, Abraham B. Burkholder, 
David H. Landis and Samuel Weaver; the deacons 
are Frederick A. Rhodes, Simeon Heatwole, Christian 
Good, Daniel H. Good, David H. Rhodes and Jacob 

In the Lower District in Rockingham County are 
Abraham Shank and John Geil, Sr., Bishops ; the 
minister are Samuel Shank, George Brunk, Daniel Sho- 
walter, Henry Wenger, Lewis Shank and John Geil, 
Jr. ; the deacons are Jacob Good, Jacob Geil, Peter Blos- 
ser and Christian Shank. 

There is no Bishop in Frederick County at present; 
the ministers are Daniel Mellinger and Christian Brunk ; 
deacon, John Witmer. 

In Hardy County, West Virginia, is but one minister, 
viz.: Jacob Teeds. 

There is no record kept in Virginia as to communicant 
members, consequently the exact number of their mem- 
bership cannot now be given, but having consulted some 
of those likely to be well informed, we estimated as fol- 
lows by counties : Augusta County, about 60 members ; 
Rockingham County, 500; Pendleton, Randolph and 


Tucker Counties, West Virginia, 35 ; Haray County, 
West Virginia, 40 ; Shenandoah County, Virginia, 8 ; 
Page County, 5 ; Frederick County, 25 ; or, in round 
numbers, say about 700. I think this will not be very 
far from the truth. 

The above, as given under date of 26th day of April, 
1886, by Abraham Blosser, of Dale Enterprise, Virginia. 

Mennonites in West Virginia. 

Whereas we have been in Pendleton County, West 
Virginia, engaged in building a church, and having had 
many inquiries about the Church there, I thought that a 
brief sketch of the rise and progress of that branch of the 
Church might be read with interest and probably with 
profit by many of our readers. During the late war, 
while many of our people from the valley were seeking 
shelter from military service by crossing the Federal 
lines, some concluded to stop there, as they felt safe and 
were not far away from home. Among them was a 
brother who became somewhat attached to these people 
by the kind treatment he received from them ; he con- 
cluded to make his home there for a while. Through 
him they learned some of our doctrine and also secured 
our Confession of Faith, which seemed to be read with 
interest and we hope with profit. They also became 
desirous of having some of our ministers preach. In 
the Fall of 1865 or '66, Bishop Samuel Coffman and Pre. 
Christian Brunk, from this county, took a trip to 
Upshur County, West Virginia, where Brother Coffman 
was called to receive a man into the Church. On their 
way home they came through Pendleton County and 
filled an appointment there, which was well attended and 
seemed to interest the people; and through their per- 
suasion and the kindness with which they (our ministers) 



were treated, and also seeing the necessity of spiritual 
labor there and the desire for spiritual food, they concluded 
to visit them again and preach for them, which they did, 
and still extended their labors further by filling appoint- 
ments at different places. In the course of time they 
began to receive members into the Church; the work 
seemed to progress slowly at first, but through the faith- 
ful labors of the brethren there have been since that time 
thirty-four members added to the Church, scattered 
through Pendleton, Randolph and Tucker Counties. 
But of this number seven have since passed away ; two 
have fallen from the Church, leaving twenty-five mem- 
bers, and at present there are three applicants for mem- 

Last Fall the brethren and sisters there began to 
consider the necessity of building a house of worship. 
Previously services were held in school and dwelling 
houses, but the members there were not in a condition 
financially to undertake the building of a meeting-house, 
and the congregation in the valley under the charge of 
Bishop Coffman assisted in the work. They also received 
aid from friends outside and contributions from Maryland 
and Pennsylvania; so they succeeded in getting a house, 
32 by 38 feet, situated on North Fork, near the mouth of 
Seneca River, Pendleton County, West Virginia. The 
house was finished August nth, and the first meeting 
was held in it on the evening of August 28th, by Pre. 
Joseph N. Driver,. Gabriel D. Heatwole and Joseph F. 
Heatwole. Services were also held by the above-named 
brethren on Sunday, August 30th. The brethren labored 
faithfully and endured many privations for the benefit of 
this congregation ; the distance and the roads they had 


to travel made it very tiresome. I accompanied several 
of the brethren on one occasion, and we traveled about 
two hundred miles and filled thirteen appointments in 
twelve days. They are generally gone from ten to four- 
teen days ; sometimes one brother goes two or three 
times in a summer. Brother Joseph N. Driver, of Augusta 
County, has made two trips this Summer and his dis- 
tance is over two hundred and fifty miles. They make 
no appointments for the Winter, as the country is very 
mountainous through which they have to travel, and the 
roads sometimes almost impassable on account of snow 
and ice. They travel mostly on horseback, sometimes in 
carriages. There are four considerable mountains to 
cross, which also makes the labor on a horse very hard. 
Bishop Coffman is on one of these visits now, September 
20th. This is the fifth trip for the brethren this Summer. 
He expects to receive some members into the Church, 
and also to hold Communion meeting with them before 
he gets back. 

Truly the labors of the brethren seem great, but when 
we consider the reward which is sure to follow if they 
prove faithful to their Master to the end of their pil- 
grimage, it admits of no comparison with their labors; 
for Paul says : " For I reckon the sufferings of this 
present time are not worthy to be compared with the 
glory which shall be revealed in us." Romans 3 : 18. 
Could they in all their travels but have been the means 
of saving one soul, they would have accomplished a great 
work ; but we hope many souls have been gathered by 
them into the fold of God. And the Apostle Paul says, 
Gal. 6:9: " And let us not be weary in well-doing, for 
in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." James says : 


" Let him know that he who converteth the sinner from 
the error of his way shall save a soul from death and 
shall hide a multitude of sins." James 5 : 20. When we 
look around us are there not many doors open ? Are there 
not many places where there is much spiritual labor 
needed, which by a little more energy on the part of our 
churches could be supplied ? There is much special 
work needed, and it is indeed a lamentable fact that our 
Church is so slow in spreading the Gospel. There are 
many places close around us where our doctrine is but 
little known. Then, is it not high time that we awake 
out of our drowsiness and work more effectually for our 
Master's cause ? Let us therefore labor that we may 
enter into that rest which is prepared for the children of 


Taken from the Watchful Pilgrim of October 1st, 1885. 

Shenandoah and Rockingham Counties in Virginia 
were settled by Germans from Pennsylvania prior to 1746. 
Many of their descendants still speak the German 
language. Shenandoah Valley, in the vicinity of Harri- 
sonburg, was almost exclusively settled by Germans from 
Pennsylvania prior to 1 748. A traveler through this 
part of Virginia, during the French and Indian war, 
writes : " The low grounds upon the banks of the Shen- 
andoah River are rich and fertile. They are chiefly 
settled by Germans, who gain a sufficient livelihood by 
raising stock for the troops, and sending butter down 
into the lower parts of the country. I could not but re- 
flect with pleasure on the situation of these people, and 
think, if there is such a thing as happiness in this life, 
they enjoy it. Far from the bustle of the world, they 
live in the most delightful climate and richest soil 


imaginable. They are everywhere surrounded with 
beautiful prospects and sylvan scenes — lofty mountains, 
transparent streams, falls of water, rich valleys and 
majestic woods, the whole interspersed with an infinite 
variety of flowering shrubs constitute the landscapes sur- 
rounding them. They are subject to few diseases, are 
generally robust, and live in perfect liberty. They know 
no wants, and are acquainted with but few vices. Their 
inexperience of the elegancies of life precludes any re- 
gret that they have not the means of enjoying them ; but 
they possess what many princes would give half their 
dominions for — health, contentment and tranquillity of 
mind." (Rupp's Thirty Thousand Names, p. 460.) 

In 1786 the community in Virginia is also specially 
mentioned on the records in the archives at Amsterdam. 
They have a Name List of the Mennonite Preachers in 
North America, up to about 1800. 

Additional Statistics of Bishop Burkholder and 
His Family. 
Said Bishop Peter Burkholder was born in Pennsyl- 
vania, on the 27th day of August, 1783, and while yet 
quite young his father emigrated to Rockingham County, 
Virginia, with his family, where he spent the remainder 
of his days. He was married, October nth, 1803, to 
Elisabeth Coffman, who was born February 24th, 1775 ; 
was called to the ministry, October 27th, 1805; lost his 
consort, April 26th, 1846; died himself, December 24th, 
1846. He had nine children, as follows: 

1. Margaret, born September 26th, 1804, who was mar- 
ried to Jonas Blosser. 

2. Esther, born August 21st, 1806, who was married 
to John Hildebrand, 


3. Christian, born November 30th, 1807, who was 
married to Frances Lehman. 

4. Abraham, born February 20th, 1809, wno was mar- 
ried to Susanna Zimmers. 

5. Peter, born July 20th, 18 12, who died in his minor 

6. David, born March 3d, 18 14, who was married to 
Anna Beery. 

7. Elisabeth, born October 10th, 18 15, who was mar- 
ried to David Hartman. 

8. Martin, born February 7th, 1817, who was married 
to Rebecca Shank. 

9. Maria, born March 26th, 18 18, who was married to 
Henry E. Rexroad. 

They all belonged to the Mennonite Church, also their 
consorts, except Peter, who died in his minor years. 

Besides the foregoing, the said Peter Burkholder com- 
piled the Confession of Faith of the Christians known by 
the name of Mennonites, in thirty-three Articles, with a 
short extract from their catechism translated from the 
German, and accompanied with notes, to which is added 
an introduction. Also Nine Reflections, from different 
passages of the Scriptures, illustrative of their Confession, 
Faith and Practice, by said Peter Burkholder, pastor of 
the Church of the Mennonites, written by him in the 
German language, and from his manuscript translated, 
together with the foregoing Articles, by Joseph Funk. 
Printed by Robinson & Hollis, Winchester, Va.,in 1837. 

Heatwole. — On September 4th, 1886, near the Mole 


Hill, Rockingham County, Va., of an inward rupture, 
after a severe illness of nine days, Joseph Heatwole, aged 
68 years, 5 months and 10 days. He was buried at 
Weaver's Church on the 6th. Funeral services by Bishop 
Samuel Coffman and John Geil, Jr., from Job 14, in the 
presence of a very large audience. Said John Geil, Jr., 
was once a fellow-prisoner with the deceased — they were 
captured with about seventy other Mennonites and Tun- 
kers, in the Fall of 1861, near Petersburg, in what is now 
called Grant County, West Virginia, in the time of the war 
of the Rebellion, in an attempt to cross the picket lines 
to the Northern States, by the Churchville cavalry (rebels), 
who were then on picket in those mountain regions, of 
whose position and whereabouts these refugees were not 
minutely posted. At this instant, when the enemy closed 
in upon them, the said deceased, who was then in front 
of this defenseless company, turned to his fellow-prisoners 
and said : " Brethren pray mightily unto God." This 
remark of the deceased Bro. Geil said he remembered as 
clearly as if spoken but yesterday, the words having made 
a deep and solemn impression on his mind the instant 
they were uttered. Although about a quarter of a century 
has passed since this remark was made by the deceased 
brother, I think it ought to be put on record on the page 
of history for his posterity and those of his fellow-pris- 
oners, and also many other persons to read and know 
that the deceased was one of those who had put their 
trust in God, and that God was his first thought when 
caught in danger. 

The deceased was a consistent member of the Menno- 
nite Church for many years. He leaves seven children 
and many relatives and friends to mourn his loss. 

Abraham Blosser. 

Christian Funk. 

The Schism among the Mennonites in 1777. 

Christian Funk was born in 173 1 ; was married in 1757. 
About the same time, or shortly after, he was called to 
the ministry by the congregation at Franconia, where he 
worked faithfully, as far as known, until the year 1774, 
at which time the American war was about commencing 
with England. The Mennonites as a body never had 
any disposition to take part in civil government, so when 
in the year 1774 a meeting was held for the purpose of 
choosing three men who were to attend a delegation from 
other parts of the Province, to deliberate whether Penn- 
sylvania should join the other Provinces which were 
already fully engaged in the Revolutionary contest, there 
was a stormy time, many of the Mennonites being still 
somewhat anxious to be loyal in their allegiance to the 
King of England. The meeting was largely attended, 
and there was every indication that there would be seri- 
ous trouble and probably serious dissension in the ranks 
of the Mennonites. Happily, at this time, Funk arrived. 
He asked if anything had been done at the meeting, and 
being answered negatively, he said that it was no business 
of the Mennonites to interfere in the matter. After much 
debating it was decided not to oppose the joining of 



Pennsylvania to the other Provinces, in the work of free- 
ing this country from hateful and despotic rule. 

A tax of ^"3 1 os. was now laid, payable in Congress 
paper money. Many of the ministers and members were 
opposed to paying this tax. Funk, however, said they 
ought to pay it, because they had taken the money issued 
under the authorities of Congress and paid their debts 
with it. The dispute continued until about the year 1777, 
when the division took place. (Funk's Mirror) 

This schism lasted about twenty-five years, when its 
members returned to the original faith of their fathers. 

Manitoba Mennonites. 

Bro. Jacob Y. Schantz, of Berlin, Ontario, the Men- 
nonite immigration agent, when examined before the 
Immigration and Colonization Committee at Ottawa, in 
April, 1886, said that when the Mennonites first came 
into Southern Manitoba they lived in small villages of say 
about twenty-four families, and worked land together as a 
common holding, each sharing in the proceeds. They, 
however, discovered that they had made a mistake, and 
now took up homesteads and settled the same as farmers 
did. Some of the younger people were now speaking 
English, and a few were attending English schools. The 
Government had loaned the Mennonites $96,400 to tide 
over their difficulties, getting security for the money from 
the people resident in that locality. Of that sum there 
was some $65,000 paid back, and he was in a position to 
say, being Secretary of the Committee, that upwards of 
$20,000 would be paid in the course of two or three 
months. There was little prospect of further immigra- 
tion, as young men could not get away owing to Russian 
war troubles. Some few families had left and had gone to 
Kansas. Speaking of Southern Manitoba, he said about 
1,336 families located there, who were pretty successful. 
They were more temperate in their habits than when 
they first came into the country. Mr. Trow, in seconding 
a vote of thanks to Bro. Schantz, paid a high tribute to 



that gentleman's energetic efforts on behalf of the Men- 
nonite settlers. 

In Manitoba, British America, are living at present 
12,000 Mennonites, who are all in good circumstances. 
They generally follow farming and find a good market 
for their products, which they can ship at very low freight 
rates on the Canada Pacific Railroad, which is greatly in 
their favor. The first Mennonites in Manitoba came 
from the southern part of Russia in the year 1874. 

The Herrites (or Herrenleute). 

The Herrites (Herrenleute) of which we are now to 
speak, is a schism of the Mennonite Church, and was 
led by John Herr, of Lancaster County. They have at 
present one congregation in Worcester, Montgomery 
County. Their ways and views are so peculiar that some 
of them are appended : " They do not or dare not, for 
fear of the ban of separation (a sort of penance), hear the 
ministers of another denomination preach. When one of 
their members commits a sin or breaks their rules, he or 
she is put under the ban, and is kept in avoidance ; then 
they do not eat or sleep with him or her, nor sit at the 
same table under pain of like censure." The "Herrites" 
originated from the second schism of the Mennonite 
Church, in about 181 1. (The first was Christian Funk's.) 
The portion that withdrew erected for themselves a small 
one story stone meeting-house over the Franconia line in 
Salford Township, near the present turnpike leading to 
Souderton. By 1850 they had diminished, so that the 
building was used only for a school-house. In 1855 they 
built a house just in Franconia, several hundred yards 
north of the Harleysville and Souderton turnpike, near a 
private burying-ground, usually called Delps' Graveyard. 
Of those who sleep there, the stones give the family names 
of Yoder, Moyer, Kratz, Booz, Landis, Funk, Delp, 
Kline, Wisler, Godshall, Cassel and others ; Jacob Lan- 



dis, 1807; Christian Funk, aged 80 years; Valentine 
Kratz, 95 years, and Abraham Delp, 81 years. 

This old graveyard is certainly an object of interest. 
It contains about a quarter of an acre, enclosed with a 
substantial board fence, situated on elevated ground, 
with a beautiful glimpse of the surrounding country into 
the quiet valley of the Indian Creek. 

Mennonites in Missouri. 

I will now try and give you some information about 
the Mennonites in Missouri, and 1 shall truly rejoice if I 
can assist you in your undertaking to write a history of 
the Mennonite Church, a work requiring much labor to 
get the necessary material. 

There were, according to- my knowledge, no Menno- 
nite organizations in Missouri anterior to the great Civil 
War, unless it be of the so-called Amish Mennonites, 
about which I am not sufficiently informed to furnish 
anything like a history. There are, to my knowledge, 
Amish Mennonites in Hickory, Cass and Gentry Counties, 
no doubt also in other counties. In Cass County there is 
a very large congregation of Amish Mennonites; a man 
by the name of Knaege is the Bishop. 

Of the congregations going by the name of Menno- 
nite Churches, there are five organized congregations. 
Three of them are connected by conferential ties to the 
Mennonites represented by the Herald of Truth (or Old 
School Mennonites), and two have united themselves to 
the General Conference (or New School Mennonites). Of 
the former, one is in Jasper County, one in Shelby County 
and one in Morgan County. Of the latter, one is in 
Moniteau and one in Hickory County. The church in 
Shelby County was organized soon after the war, perhaps 
in 1867 or 1868, of which the following is an account. 



Among the first settlers were persons by the name of 
Lapp, one of whom was a preacher. Bishop Benjamin 
Hershey moved there and has been their Bishop ever 
since. A man by the name of John Brubacher was chosen 
to the ministry since. The congregation is small, hardly 
numbering over twenty-five members. The congregation 
in Jasper County is still smaller, having a membership not 
exceeding fifteen. Mennonites had settled there soon 
after the war, but no organization took place until the 
year 1877. The first Mennonite settler was Dr. Jacob 
Blosser. They have no church building. Jacob Brenne- 
mann and Joseph Weaver were elected to the ministry. 
The congregation in Morgan County, called the Mt. Zion 
Church, has a somewhat larger membership than either 
of the two last referred to. The present preachers are 
D. D. KaufTman, Bishop, and Daniel Driver. It origi- 
nated as follows : A number of Mennonites moved to 
Moniteau and Morgan Counties, Missouri, in the year 
1867, and later from Ohio, Indiana, New York, Virginia, 
Michigan and other places. They settled near the county 
line, between the above-mentioned counties. The first 
communion was held by Bishop John Schmitt, of Sum- 
merfield, Illinois. But these people, coming from different 
places, had different views and customs also in church 
matter, and when they came to form a more complete 
organization, if they would unite into one body, they had 
to learn to tolerate one another's views. This they agreed 
to do. This was especially the case with feet-washing, 
which some regarded as a ceremony ,while others gave it a 
spiritual interpretation, or regarded it as an act of hospi- 
tality ; but the great zeal of a few to bring about a unity 
of views, and, if necessary, by power, authority and dis- 


cipline, produced a lively discussion of this point of differ- 
ence and resulted in a split, and each party has since its 
own organization, though there is not that animosity be- 
tween the parties which we sometimes find where such 
schisms take place. The party practicing ceremonial 
feet-washing is organized under the name of Mt. Zion 
Congregation, while the other is called the Bethel Con- 
gregation ; the former is united with the Mennonites 
represented by the Herald of Truth, while the Bethel 
Congregation has united with the " General Conference." 
Their united membership may be about one hundred and 
thirty-five members. There was no ministerial election 
before the separation, but Daniel Brundage, now living in 
the State of Kansas, who moved from Indiana to Mis- 
souri as a minister, was ordained as Bishop. The Mt. 
Zion Congregation since elected David D. Kauffman and 
Daniel Driver, and the Bethel Congregation elected P. P. 

M. S. Moyer, who was elected to the ministiy in Ohio, 
moved to Morgan County, Missouri, in the year 1878, 
and was accepted as minister and afterwards, with P. P. 
Lehmann, ordained as Bishop. The two churches are 
five miles apart, Mt. Zion in Morgan and Bethel in 
Moniteau County. Another congregation is in Hickory 
County ; Peter S. Lehmann, who moved there from In- 
diana, is its preacher. The members came there from 
Ohio, Indiana and other States. The membership may 
be about forty. They have also sent their delegate to 
the General Conference and are regarded as a part of 
that body. 

Early Settlement of the Mennonites in 
Elkhart County, Indiana. 

In 1843 J°hn Smith came from Medina County, Ohio, 
and purchased the farm now occupied by Martin Hoover, 
near Harrison Centre, in Harrison Township. Two years 
later, in the spring of 1845, Bishop Martin Hoover, then 
already 85 years old, with his son, John, settled on the 
farm now occupied by Joseph Rohrer, a short distance 
north of South West. In the fall of the same year John 
Smith, his son, Joseph, and Christian Henning, with their 
families, arrived on the 3d of October from Medina 
County, Ohio, and settled in the same township ; Jacob 
Strohm also was here when they came. In the spring of 
1848 Christian Christophel, Jacob Christophel and Jacob 
Wisler, with their families, from Columbiana County, 
Ohio, joined the little colony ; the latter two were minis- 
ters of the Gospel, and on Ascension Day in that year 
they appointed and held their first meeting, in the old 
log school-house, on the northwest corner of the farm 
on which Joseph Rohrer is now living, opposite to the 
Dunker meeting-house, built a few years ago. The three 
ministers were present. The principal discourse was de- 
livered by Jacob Wisler. Bishop Hoover was then 85 
years old, and only made a few remarks sitting. No 
hymn was sung, because no one present was able to lead 



the singing. The meeting was attended by only sixteen 
persons. From this time forward, however, regular ser- 
vices were held every two weeks, sometimes, no doubt, 
in the school-house, and sometimes in barns, private 
dwellings, etc. During the summer of 1848, twenty- four 
families more arrived from Wayne, Medina and Colum- 
biana Counties, Ohio, among whom were the Hartmans, 
Holdemans, Movers, Smeltzers and others. In the sum- 
mer of 1849 a l°g meeting-house, 26 feet square, was 
built on the same ground now occupied by the Yellow 
Creek meeting-house. This building once took fire from 
the stove-pipe, burned four of the ceiling boards and 
charred the girder to coals half the length of the build- 
ing, but of its own accord went out again and did no 
further damage. An addition of 24 feet in length was 
afterwards made to this house, and in 1861 the old house 
was moved away and the new frame house, now standing, 
40 by 60, put in its stead. 

In 1850 Benjamin Hershey came from Canada and 
settled here. He also was a minister and afterwards 
removed to Whiteside County, Illinois, and from there 
to Shelby County, Missouri, where he was ordained a 
Bishop and still resides there. Daniel Moyer was chosen 
to the ministry and served in that capacity for a number 
of years. He was an earnest preacher, but his earthly 
labors were brought to a sudden close by a collision on 
the railroad, through which he lost his life while on his 
way with two other ministers to visit the churches in 
Canada, in December, 1864. In 1853, R.J. Schmidt and 
N. J. Sijmensma, two ministers, and their families and a 
number of their brethren and their families, on account 
of their faithful adherence to the doctrine of non-resist- 


ance, were compelled to emigrate from Holland, and 
settled in this county, where Bro. Sijmensma died a few 
years afterwards, leaving the care of the charge to Bro. 
Schmidt, who still holds services, at stated periods, in the 
Holland language. Daniel Brundage, who was called to 
the ministry in Canada, emigrated from there to this 
county, and, after serving the church here for a time, 
removed to Morgan County, Missouri, in the spring of 
1869, if our information is correct, where he was advanced 
to the office of Bishop on the 28th of May, 1870, and 
later went to McPherson County, Kansas, where he 
resides at the present time. Jacob Freed came from 
Holmes County, Ohio, to Elkhart County, where he died 
in April, 1868, in the 726 year of his age. He served as 
a minister in the Church over thirty years. He was born 
in Virginia, and probably was elected to the ministry in 
Ohio. David Good was a deacon and came to Elkhart 
County from Canada at an early date. He was a man of 
excellent abilities, and faithful and zealous in the perform- 
ance of his duty. He died on the 16th of March, 1864, 
in the 60th year of his age. Benjamin Huber, also form- 
erly from Canada, was a deacon, and died December 19th, 
1866, aged 88 years. Henry Newcomer filled the same 
office for a number of years, and died in November, 1867. 

A meeting was also organized in Clinton Township, 
east of Goshen, and for a time maintained by the minis- 
ters in Harrison Township, until it could be supplied from 
their own congregation. John Nusbaum, who is still 
pastor of this church, came to Clinton on the 4th of Sep- 
tember, i860. He was chosen and ordained to the 
ministry in Ashland County, Ohio, in 1827. 

The church in Elkhart County, in her earlier years, 


enjoyed a good degree of prosperity, receiving large 
accessions, both by immigration and new converts ; on 
one occasion forty-eight were baptized on the same day ; 
but within the last several years this church has been 
called to pass through a most severe trial, in which the 
faith of many was brought to a severe test, and though 
she lost some in numbers, there is no doubt she has been 
confirmed and established in the faith; and we trust, by 
the grace of God, she may in years to come be a bright 
and shining light and lead many unto righteousness. 

There are now in Elkhart County six congregations, 
and religious services are regularly held in eleven different 
places (Funk's Mennonite Almanac). 

There are now in the State of Indiana thirteen con- 
gregations, as follows : 

The church in Owen County, in charge of Daniel 
Royer, Bishop, 

The church in Adams County, in charge of Christian 
Augspurger, minister. 

The church in De Kalb County. The ministers in this 
church are James Coyle and Eli Stofer. 

The churches in Elkhart County are as follows : 

The Clinton Church, ministers John Gnagy and Peter 
Y. Lehman. 

The Yellow Creek Church, ministers Noah Metzler 
and Jonas Loucks. 

The Holdeman Church, of which Amos Mumaw and 
Jacob Loucks are the ministers. 

The Shaum Church, of which Henry Shaum is the 

The Elkhart Church, in the city of Elkhart. The 
ministers here are John F. Funk, John S. CofTman and 


All the churches in Elkhart County are under the care 
of Henry Shaum as Bishop, except the Clinton Church, 
which is under the oversight of Henry A. Miller, Bishop, 
of Lagrange County. 

The Blosser Church, supplied by ministers from the 
surrounding districts. 

The Christophel Church, including the Holland breth- 
ren, under charge of R. J. Schmidt. 

The Nappanee Church, of which David Burkholder is 
the minister. 

Besides these there are several places of meeting in 
the surrounding districts supplied cheerfully by the 
ministers of this county. J. S. Coffman, also one of the 
ministers of the Elkhart City Church, devotes a large 
portion of his time to evangelistic work among the 
smaller churches and scattered members, having his ex- 
penses met, partly from voluntary contributions and 
partly from the evangelizing fund. This fund was estab- 
lished by the Conference of the State of Indiana, and is 
maintained by voluntary contributions from all parts of 
the United States, where Mennonite settlements are 
found. Joseph Summers, of Elkhart, is the treasurer, 
and all disbursements are made through a committee 
elected annually. The means are supplied to any min- 
ister who goes out to preach the Gospel and labor for 
the Church, at the discretion of the committee. 

The Shore Church, in Lagrange County, where Rev. 
J. J. Weaver and Bishop Henry A. Miller are the min- 
isters in charge. 

There is also a small number of members in Allen 
County, which is supplied by the ministers in De Kalb 


There is also a church in Branch County, Michigan, in 
charge of Harvey Friesner. Also one known as the 
Barker Street Church, near the State line. 

The Caledonia Church, in charge of Christian Wenger, 
and the Bourie Church, in charge of John P. Speicher 
and Peter Keim ; the two last mentioned are in Kent 
County, Michigan, all of which are under the care of the 
Conference of Indiana. 

Besides these, there are in the State of Indiana some 
ten or twelve congregations of Amish Mennonites. 

The Conference of Illinois includes the church in 
Livingston County, where the ministers are: Henry L. 
Shelly, Peter Unzicker and Christian Schantz ; the church 
in Tazewell County, under charge of Emanuel Hartman, 
Bishop ; the church near Morrison, in Whiteside County, 
where the ministers, are Bishop Henry Nice and minister 
John Nice ; the church near Sterling, in the same county, 

where the ministers are Abraham Ebersole and 

Riesner ; the church near Freeport, in Stephenson 

County, where the ministers are Snavely and Joseph 


Biographical Sketch of Jacob ChristopheL 

Jacob Christophel was born in Redenbach, in the 
Palatinate on the Rhine, in Europe, from which place he 
emigrated and came to America in 1818. He settled in 
Westmoreland County, Pa., where he lived three years, 
after which he removed to Allegheny County. He was 
a member of the Mennonite Church, and in 1827 he was 
here chosen and ordained to the ministry. He was 
ordained by Bishop David Funk. 

From Allegheny County he removed to Columbiana 
County, Ohio, and afterwards to Elkhart County, Indiana, 
arriving there with his family on the 5th day of June, 
1848. He bought a farm in Jackson Township, with a 
small clearing, where he lived to the time of his death, 
which occurred on the 3d of December, 1868. He was in 
the ministry about forty-one years, though for several years 
before his death he was not able, on account of his bodily 
infirmities, to attend to the duties of his office. He 
suffered with palsy for about three years, during which 
time he was unable to walk and almost helpless. About 
twenty-four hours before his death he was attacked with 
a severe pain in the bowels. He died calmly and peace- 
fully, as one lying down to pleasant dreams, and was 
gathered to his fathers, as had been his desire for a long 
time, at the advanced age of 85 years 1 1 months and 3 
days. He was faithful in the performance of his min- 



isterial duties as long as his bodily health permitted him 
to do so, and after he was no longer able to labor in the 
ministry, it still seemed to be his delight to attend public 
worship as often as he could. He was buried in the grave- 
yard at Yellow Creek meeting-house, where his funeral 
services were performed by J. Weaver and J. M. Brenne 
man from the text Luke 2 : 29, 30. 

First Amish Settlement in Elkhart 
County, Indiana. 

The first Amish Mennonite settlement in Elkhart 
County, Indiana, was made in the year 1841. At that 
time Daniel and Joseph Miller, with Joseph and Christian 
Borntreger, with their families, emigrated from Somerset 
County, Pa., to Elkhart County, Indiana, and settled 
about four miles east of Goshen. 

The first meeting for religious worship held by these 
new settlers occurred in August of the same year, at the 
house of Joseph Miller. He was their Bishop. In the 
-winter of 1842 Emanuel Miller and family settled in the 
same place. The church then consisted of five families. 
Later in the same year seven other families came also 
from Somerset County, Pa., and settled in the same 
neighborhood. This was the beginning of the extensive 
settlements of the Amish brethren now found in that 
vicinity {Funk's Almanac, 1875). 


Mennonites in Colorado. 

Jacob Roth writes from Harrisburg, Arapahoe County, 
Colorado : " Our community here numbers ten brethren. 
We have taken up homesteads and pre-emption lands, 
and there is still land here to be taken up. This seems 
to be a healthy place and the settlement is entirely new. 
We expect to organize a Sabbath-school next Sunday, as 
we hold meetings on the intervening Sundays. We trust 
the brethren will pray for us that the Lord may bless us 
and we may at last be found among the redeemed of the 
earth" {Herald of Truth, April 1st, 1888). 

In Yuma, Colorado, is a settlement of Mennonites. 

A number of Mennonites by "the name of Wiens, of 
Nebraska, have in contemplation the founding and build- 
ing of a city, about forty-five miles south of Yuma. They 
can obtain the land on very reasonable terms {Patriot and 
Reformer, August 18th, 1886). 


Mennonites in New York State. 

The first Mennonite who settled in Western New York 
was Johannes Roth, who came from Lancaster, Pa., before 
the Revolutionary war, and settled four miles west of 
Williamsville. No more of the same persuasion arrived 
until 1824; then came C. Leib, shortly afterwards A. 
Leib, D. Lehm, Johann Scherer, P. Lehman, S. Martin 
and his sons, A. Diller, Johann Diller, Walter J. Frick, 
J. Metz and others, all from Lancaster, Pa. In 1828 
came John Lapp ; then a Mennonite congregation was 
organized and a new meeting-house was built, and John 
Lapp was chosen as their first minister and John Martin 
as their first deacon. In 1831 arrived Jacob Krehbiel 
with his family, a preacher in the Mennonite congrega- 
tion at Meyerhof, Rheinpfalz, Germany, so the congre- 
gation increased by immigration and new converts who 
were added by baptism, and became a pretty large con- 
gregation. Abraham Lapp and Peter Lehman were 
chosen as their ministers, and Frederick Krehbiel and 
Abraham Leib as deacons. Now (1888) all have gone 
to their eternal home. 

At the present there are two congregations, one in 
Clarence Centre, with Jacob Krehbiel (grandson of the 
above-named Jacob Krehbiel) as their pastor and J. 
Eberhard as their deacon ; the other is three miles south- 



west of the former, with Jacob Hahn as their pastor and 
A. Metz as their deacon. 

The first Mennonites who settled at the Falls, in Nia- 
gara County, were Hans Wittmer, in 1810, and his 
brother, Abraham Wittmer, in 181 1, both from Lan- 
caster, Pa. Soon after more of their brethren came from 
Lancaster and settled in Niagara County, and a congre- 
gation was organized and the ministers from Clarence 
Centre, Lapp and Krehbiel, had charge of the Falls con- 
gregation. They held their meetings, presumably, in 
private houses, as they had no meeting-house until shortly 
after 1830, when a meeting-house was built and David 
Habecker was chosen as their minister and J. Dreichler 
as their deacon. Pastor Habecker is yet living, but not 
able to perform the duties as pastor, on account of old 
age, being nearly one hundred years old. The congrega- 
tion, with U. Linkele as deacon, is at the present time in 
charge of Jacob Krehbiel, of Clarence Centre. 

John Krehbiel. 

Clarence Centre, N. Y., March 20th, il 


In Washington County are four congregations of 
Mennonites, viz. : Reiff's Congregation — Michael Horst, 
Bishop, Jacob Risser, minister, and Christian W. Eby, 
deacon ; Stauffer's Congregation— Adam Bear, minister, 
and Peter R. Eshleman, deacon ; Clear Spring Congre- 
gation—Daniel Roth, Josiah Brewer, Abraham Ebersole, 
ministers, Isaac W. Eby, deacon ; Miller's Congregation 
—John Martin, Adam Bear, ministers, Peter R. Eshle- 
man, deacon. 


Russian Settlements in the West. 

The readers of this sketch, no doubt, have all heard 
much about the emigration of the Mennonites from 
Russia on account of their religious freedom, and their 
settlement on the great prairies of the West. Settlements 
have been formed in Manitoba, Minnesota, Dakota, 
Nebraska and Kansas. To those who have never been 
in the West and have not had an opportunity to see the 
opening of new settlements, let them imagine a sketch 
which will give them a very good idea as to the manner 
in which such settlements are commenced. They con- 
struct their buildings of boards, in the most primitive 
style. Sometimes they construct them also of sod, or of 
rough, sun-dried brick, or of clay mixed with straw. In 
Manitoba, where there is more timber, we presume the 
brethren have followed, to some extent, the manner of 
the natives and built their houses of small logs, closing 
the crevices with clay. They build their houses very 
substantially, where they have the means and the 
material. Those who have always lived in large, pleasant 
and convenient houses may here form some idea of the 
difference which exists in the comforts and conveniences 
of life between those who commence new settlements in 
the West and those who live in the old settled portions 
of the country (Fn?ik"s Family Almanac, 1 876). 


Russian Settlements in Nebraska. 

Nebraska is a very large State. It is 412 miles in 
length and 208 miles wide. There are no mountains in 
the State. The whole surface consists of rolling uplands 
and rich valleys. The past twenty years have demon- 
strated that in no part of the United States can a better 
country be found for the raising of stock and the growing 
of wheat, oats, rye, barley, corn and vegetables. In 1880 
the population of the State was 452,402 and increasing 
rapidly. The larger portion of these people dwell in the 
eastern half of the State, where the 1,500,000 acres of the 
Burlington and Missouri River Railroad lands are 

The Mennonite church near Beatrice consists princi- 
pally of members who immigrated from Prussia in 1877. 
Their present Bishop is Gerhard Penner; ministers, John 
Heinrich Zimmerman, Peter Reinier; deacon, L. E. 
Zimmerman. Their membership is about two hundred. 

The congregation in Jefferson County consists of 
several divisions, with a membership of about two hun- 
dred and fifty. Their Bishop is Abraham Friesen, 
Fairbury P. O. 

The congregation in Hamilton County also consists of 
several divisions and has a membership of about two 
hundred and fifty. Their principal Bishop is Isaac 
Peters. The last two congregations are Russians. 



The periodicals published under the auspices of the 
old Mennonite Church, are : First, The Herald of Truth, 
established in 1864, in the city of Chicago, Illinois, by 
John F. Funk. The office of publication was removed 
to Elkhart, Indiana, in 1867, since which time it has been 
published there. It has also been printed in the German 
language, under the name of Herold der Wahrheit. Both 
are now published by the Mennonite Publishing Com- 
pany and have a combined circulation of over 6,000 
copies. They have now nearly completed their twenty- 
fourth year. 

The same company also publishes a children's paper 
in the English language, under the name Words of Cheer, 
and a German children's paper, under the title Der Christ- 
liche Jugendfreund. They also publish a weekly news- 
paper in the German language, circulating chiefly among 
the Russian Mennonites, under the name of Mennonitische 

A large number of the Church books, as Martyrs' 
Mirror in the German language ; the complete works of 
Menno Simons, in the English and German languages ; 
the different hymn books of the Church, Confessions of 
Faith, tracts, etc., have been published and circulated, 
and within the last four years the Martyrs' Mirror has 
been translated from the Holland language into English 



and published in an illustrated, full bound volume of 
IP93 pages. 

The Watchful Pilgrim, a semi-monthly journal, in the 
interest of the Mennonites, by Abraham Blosser, Editor, 
Dale Enterprise, Virginia. 

Der Christliche Bundesbote, a weekly paper, published 
in the interest of the General Conference of Mennonites 
of North America, the object of which is to bring the 
several divisions of Mennonite communities more closely 
together for the purpose of working more successfully in 
the cause of home and foreign mission work, and for the 
kingdom of God in general. 

Address : Christliche Bundesbote, Berne, Adams County, 

The Mennonite, a religious monthly journal, devoted to 
the interest of the Mennonite Church and the cause of 
Christ at large, published by the Eastern Mennonite Con- 

Address : N. B. Grubb, 2 1 36 Franklin Street, Phila- 

Der Kindcrbote. — The Kinderbote is a monthly publi- 
cation for Children and Sunday-schools. It is published 
at Berne, Adams Co., Indiana, by the Publication Board 
of the General Conference. The contents are especially 
adapted for children. It is half German and half English. 

European Journals. 

Das Gemeinde-Blatt, by Pastor Ulrich Hege, assisted 
by several ministers; a monthly journal of eight pages, 
published in the interest of the Mennonites, at Reihen, 
Amt Sinshcim, Baden. 


Mennonitische Blatter, issued monthly by H. Van der 
Smissen, minister of the Mennonite church at Hamburg, 
Altona. This journal is now in its thirty-fourth year, and 
will hereafter be published semi-monthly, instead of 
monthly, as heretofore. This is the church where Ger- 
hard Roosen and Jacob Denner preached nearly two 
hundred years ago. 

Der Zionspilger, published semi-monthly, in the interest 
of the old evangelical non-resistant Taufgesinnten-Ge- 
meine (Mennoniten) at Emmenthal, Switzerland, by 
Samuel Buhler, Langnau, Canton Bern, Switzerland. 
' December 27th, 1887. 



When and where the first Conference in America was 
held is not positively known. We have records that a 
conference was held and the Confession of Faith approved 
and received by the elders and ministers of the congre- 
gations of the people called Mennonites in the year 1727, 
and subscribed their names, as follows : 
Skippack, Jacob Godschalk, Henry Kolb, Claes Jansen, 

Michael Ziegler. 
Germantown, John Gorgas, John Conerads, Clas Ritting- 

Conestoga, Hans Burgholzer, Christian Herr, Benedict 

Hirschi, Martin Bear, Johannes Bowman. 
Great Swamp, Velte Clemmer. 
Manatanty Daniel Langenecker, Jacob Beghtly. 

In the Lancaster County Conference there are about 
seventy-five ministers, representing not less than fifty 

The Franconia Conference meets semi-annually, in 
May and October, in the Franconia meeting-house, in 
Franconia Township, Montgomery County, Pa. This 
Conference has been meeting in Franconia long before 
the Revolutionary War, even as early as 1760;, how long 
before that date we have no record. 

The Virginia Conference represents about twelve or fif- 
teen churches. They hold their meetings in three districts 



alternately, the Upper District in Augusta County, the 
Middle District in Rockingham County and the Lower 
District in Rockingham County. This Conference is 
composed of about thirty-two ministers and deacons ; they 
hold their meetings semi-annually. 

The Ohio Conference is composed of about fifteen 

Then there are the Indiana, the Illinois, the Missouri, 
the Iowa and the Kansas Conferences, all in one com- 
munion, besides the Amish Mennonite churches, number- 
ing about twelve or fifteen. 

Places of worship in several counties of Pennsylvania, 
as far as I could get them : In Lebanon County, 4, Bishop, 
Isaac Gingrich ; Dauphin County, 4 ; Adams County, 2, 
Bishop, David Schenk ; Juniata County, 5, Bishop, Isaac 
Graybill ; Franklin County, 5, Bishop, John Hunsicker; 
Berks County, 4 ; Cumberland County, 7 ; York County, 
10; Snyder County, 2; Perry County, 2 ; Washington 
County, Maryland, 4, Bishop, Michael Horst; Branch 
County, Michigan, 1, Harvey Friesner. 

For the names of ministers and places of worship in 
Lancaster, Montgomery and Bucks Counties, see the 
Meeting Calendar of all the Mennonite churches in 
Eastern Pennsylvania for the year 1887 (Old School), 
New Holland, Pa., Clarion Printing Office. 

Mennonite Immigration to Pennsylvania. 

By Dr. J. G. De Hoop Scheffer, of Amsterdam.* 

The extensive tract of land, bounded on the east by 
the Delaware, on the north by the present New York, on 
the west by the Ohio River, and on the south by Mary- 
land, has such an agreeable climate, such an unusually 
fertile soil, and its watercourses are so well adapted for 
trade, that it is not surprising that there, as early as 1638 
— five and twenty years after our forefathers built the 
first house in New Amsterdam (New York) — a European 
colony was established. The first settlers were Swedes, 
but some Hollanders soon joined them. Surrounded 
on all sides by savage natives, continually threatened and 
often harassed, they contented themselves with the culti- 
vation of but a small portion of the land. After, how- 
ever, King Charles II had, in settlement of a debt, given 
the whole province to William Penn,f there came a great 

* The article here translated from the Dutch, and annotated, appeared in 
the Doopsgezinde Bijdragen for 1869, under the title of " Vricndschaps- 
betrekingen tusschen de Doopsgezinden hier te lande en die in Pennsyl- 

f The English Government owed Admiral Penn, father of William Penn, 
£1 6,000 sterling for advances made and services rendered; in settlement of 
the above debt the section of country lying North of Maryland was given to 
William Penn, and was afterwards called Pennsylvania. — Author. 

(180) . 


change. There, before long, at his invitation and through 
his assistance, his oppressed fellow-believers, followers 
like himself of George Fox, found a place of refuge. 
They settled on the Delaware, and, united by the com- 
mon sufferings endured for their convictions, they founded 
a city, to which they gave the suggestive name of the 
City of Brotherly Love (Philadelphia). The province 
itself received the name of Pennsylvania from the man 
who brought its settlers over from a land of persecution 
to his own estate, and has borne it to the present time, 
although its boundaries have been extended on the north 
to Lake Erie, and on the west beyond the Allegheny 
Mountains to the present Ohio. 

In accordance with the fundamental law established 
April 25th, 1682, complete freedom of conscience was 
assured to all religious communities, and William Penn 
and his associates saw a stream of those who had been 
persecuted and oppressed for their belief pour into the 
colony, among whom were many Mennonites from 
Switzerland and the Palatinate. 

In Switzerland, for nearly half a century religious in- 
tolerance had been most bitter. Many who had remained 
there were then persuaded to abandon their beloved 
native country and betake themselves to the distant land 
of freedom, and others, who had earlier emigrated to 
Alsace and the Palatinate and there endured the dreadful 
horrors of the war in 1690, joined them, hoping in a prov- 
ince described to them as a paradise, to find the needed 
comforts of life. The traveling expenses of these ex- 
hausted wanderers on their way through our Fatherland 
were furnished with a liberal hand from the " funds for 
fo reign needs" which our forefathers had collected to aid 


the Swiss, Palatines and Litthauers. These emigrants 
settled for the most part at Philadelphia, and to the north- 
ward along the Delaware. One of the oldest communi- 
ties, if not the oldest of all, was that at Schiebach, or 
Germantown. The elder of their two preachers, Wilhelm 
Rittinghausen, died in 1708, and in his place two new 
preachers were chosen (presumably Nicholaus Ritten- 
house and Dirk Keyser). The same year eleven young 
people were added to the Church through baptism, and 
two new deacons accepted its obligations. Moreover, the 
emigration of other brethren from the Palatinate, with 
Peter Kolb* at their head, who were enabled to make the 
journey by the aid of the Netherlanders, gave a favorable 
prospect of considerable growth. Financially, however, 
the circumstances of the community left much to be de- 
sired. In a letter written to Amsterdam, dated September 
3d, 1708, from which these particulars are derived, and 
which was signed by Jacob Gaetschalck, Herman Kars- 
dorp, Martin Kolb, Isaac Van Sinteren and Conradt Jan- 
sen, they presented " a loving and friendly request" for 
" some catechisms for the children and little testaments 
for the young."f Beside, psalm books and Bibles were 

* But Peter Kolb never came to America; he died in 1727 and is buried 
at Manheim, aged 56 years 8 months. He was a Mennonite minister. — 

f It is certainly worthy of attention that the first request these people sent 
back to their brethren in Europe was for Bibles and Testaments. Jacob 
Gaetschalck was a preacher at Skippack, but lived in Germantown. Martin 
Kolb, a grandson of Peter Schuhmacher who died in Germantown in 1707, 
was born in the village of Wolfsheim, in the Palatinate, in 1680, and came 
with his brothers, Johannes and Jacob, to Pennsylvania, in the spring of 
1707. He married May 19th, 1709, Magdalena, daughter of Isaac Van 
Sintern, who also united in this letter. Jacob Kolb married Sarah Van Sin- 


so scarce, that the whole membership had but one copy, 
and even the meeting-house needed a Bible. 

They urged their request by saying " that the com- 
munity is still weak, and it would cost much money to 
get them printed, while the members who came here 
from Germany have spent everything and must begin 
anew, and all work in order to pay for the conveniences 
of life of which they stand in need." What the printing 
would cost can to some extent be seen from the de- 
mands of a bookseller in New York, who beside, only 
printed in English, for the publication of the Confession 
of Faith in that language. He asked so much for it that 
the community could not by any possibility raise the 
money, for which reason the whole plan had to be aban- 

The proposition was first considered because of con- 
versation with some people there whose antecedents were 
entirely unknown, but " who called themselves Menno- 
nites," descendants, perhaps, of the Dutch or English 
colonists, who in the first years of the settlement estab- 
lished themselves on the territory of Pennsylvania. That 

tern, May 2d, 17 10, a sister to Magdalena. Isaac Van Sintern was born 
September 4th, 1662, and was a great-grandson of Jan de Voss, a burgo- 
master at Handschooten, in Flanders, about 1550. He married in Amster- 
dam Cornelia Claasen, of Hamburg, and came to Pennsylvania with four 
daughters after 1687. He died August 23d, 1 737, and is buried at Skippack. 
* It appears from a letter in the Mennonite Archives at Amsterdam that 
William Rittenhouse endeavored to have the Confession of Faith translated 
into English and printed by Bradford, and that he died in 1 708, aged 64 years 
(seefones' A r otes toThomas on Printing, Barton's Life of David Rittenhotise. 
Penn Magazine, Vol. II, p. 120). The Mennonites had their Confession 
of Faith printed in English in Amsterdam in 1712, and a reprint by An- 
drew Bradford in 1727, with an appendix, is the first book printed in Penn- 
sylvania for the Germans. 


the young community was composed of other people 
besides Palatines has been shown by the letter just men- 
tioned^ bearing the Netherlandish signature of Karsdorp, 
a name much honored among our forefathers, and which 
has become discredited through late occurrences at Dor- 

It is no wonder that a half year later the " Committee 
on Foreign Needs" cherished few hopes concerning the 
colony. They felt, however, for nine or ten families who 
had come to Rotterdam — according to information from 
there, under date of April 8th, 1709, from the neighbor- 
hood of Worms and Frankenthal, in order to emigrate, 
and whom they earnestly sought to dissuade from mak- 
ing the journey. They were, said the letter from Rotter- 
dam, " altogether very poor men, who intended to seek a 
better place of abode in Pennsylvania. Much has been 
expended upon them hitherto freely, and these people 
bring with them scarcely anything that is necessary in 
the way of raiment and provisions, much less the money 
that must be spent for fare from here to England, and 
from there on the great journey, before they can settle in 
that foreign land." Naturally, the Rotterdamers asked 
that money be furnished for the journey and support of 
the emigrants. But the Committee, who considered the 
matter useless and entirely unadvisable, refused to dis- 
pose in this way of the funds entrusted to them. It was 
the first refusal of the kind, and little did the Committee 
think that for twenty-four years they must keep repeat- 
ing it before such requests should entirely cease. It 
would, in fact, have been otherwise if they had begun 
with the rule which they finally adopted in 1732, or, if 
the determination they expressed in letter after letter had 


been followed by like action, and they had not let them- 
selves be persuaded away from it continually — some- 
times from perplexity, but oftener from pity. The Pala- 
tines understood the situation well. If they could only 
reach Holland without troubling themselves about the 
letters, if they were only urgent and persevering, the 
Committee would end by helping them on their way to 
Pennsylvania. The emigrants of April, 1709, accom- 
plished their object, though, as it appears, through the 
assistance of others. At all events, I think they are the 
ones referred to by Jacob Telner, a Netherlander Menno- 
nite dwelling at London, who wrote, August 6th, to Am- 
sterdam and Haarlem : " Eight families went to Pennsyl- 
vania; the English Friends, who are called Quakers, 
helped them liberally."* 

His letter speaks of others who also wanted to follow 
their example, and urges more forcibly than ever the 
people at Rotterdam to give assistance. " The truth is," 
he writes, " that many thousands of persons, old and 
young, and men and women, have arrived here in the 
hope and expectation of going to Pennsylvania, but the 
poor men are misled in their venture. If they could 
transport themselves by their own means, they might go 
where they pleased, but because of inability they cannot 
do it, and must go where they are ordered. Now, as 

* But not only did the leaders of the early Society of Friends take great 
interest in the Mennonites, but the Yearly Meeting of 1709 contributed fifty 
pounds (a very large sum at that time) for the Mennonites of the Palatinate 
who had fled from the persecution of the Calvinists in Switzerland. This 
required the agreement of the representatives of above four hundred churches, 
and shows in a strong light the sympathy which existed among the early 
Friends for the Mennonites" (Barclay's Religious Societies of the Common- 
wealth, p. 251). 


there are among all this multitude six families of our 
brethren and fellow-believers, I mean German Menno- 
nites, who ought to go to Pennsylvania, the brethren in 
Holland should extend to them the hand of love and 
charity, for they are both poor and needy. I trust and 
believe, however, that they are honest and God fearing. 
It would be a great comfort and consolation to the poor 
sheep if the rich brothers and sisters, from their super- 
fluities, would satisfy their wants and let some crumbs 
fall from their tables to these poor Lazaruses. Dear 
brethren, I feel a tender compassion for the poor sheep, 
for they are of our flesh, as says the Prophet Isaiah, 
chap. 58 : 7, 8." 

It was not long before pity for our fellow-believers was 
excited still more forcibly. 

Fiercer than ever became the persecutions of the Men- 
nonites in Switzerland. The prisons at Bern were filled 
with the unfortunates, and the inhuman treatment to 
which they were subjected caused many to pine away 
and die. The rest feared from day to day that the min- 
ority in the Council which demanded their trial would 
soon become a majority. Through the intercession, how- 
ever, of the States General, whose aid the Netherland 
Mennonites sought, not without success, some results 
were effected. The Council of Bern finally determined 
to send the prisoners, well watched and guarded, in order 
to transport them from there in an English ship to Penn- 

On the 1 8th of March, 17 10, the exiles departed from 
Bern; on the 28th, with their vessel, they reached Man- 
heim, and on the 6th of April Nimeguen, and when they 
touched Netherland soil their sufferings came to an end 


at last ; they were free, and their useless guards could 
return to Switzerland. Laurens Hendricks, the preacher 
of our community at Nimcguen, wrote in his letter of 
April 9th (17 10) : "It happened that very harsh decrees 
were issued by the rulers of Bern to search for our friends 
in all corners of the land, and put them in the prisons at 
Bern, by which means within the last two years about 
sixty persons were thrown into dungeons, where some 
underwent much misery in the great cold last winter, 
while their feet were fast in the iron shackles. 

" The Council at Bern were still very much at variance 
as to what punishment should be inflicted on them, and 
so they have the longer lain in prison ; for some would 
have them put to death, but others could not consent to 
such cruelty, so finally they determined in the Council to 
send them as prisoners to Pennsylvania. Therefore they 
put them on a vessel, well watched by a guard of soldiers, 
to send them on the Rhine to Holland ; but on coming 
to Manheim, a city of the Palatinate, they put out all the 
old, the sick and the women, but, with twenty-three men, 
floated further down the Rhine, and, on the 6th of April, 
came here to Nimeguen. When they heard that their 
fellow-believers lived here, one of them came to me, 
guarded by two soldiers. The soldiers then went away 
and left the man with me. After I, with the other 
preachers, had talked with him, we went together to the 
ship, and there found our other brethren. We then spoke 
to the officers of the guard, and arranged with them that 
these men should receive some refreshment, since they 
had been on the water for twenty days in great misery, 
and we brought them into the city. Then we said to our 
imprisoned brethren : The soldiers shall not get yoit out of 


here again easily, for if tliey use force we will complain 
to our magistrates. This, however, did not happen. They 
went about in freedom, and we remained with them and 
witnessed all the manifestations of love and friendship 
with the greatest joy. We spent the time together de- 
lightfully, and after they were entirely refreshed, they the 
next day departed, though they moved with difficulty, 
because stiffened from their long imprisonment. I went 
with them for an hour and a half beyond the city, and 
there we, with weeping eyes and swelling hearts, em- 
braced each other and with a kiss of peace separated. 
They returned to the Palatinate to seek their wives and 
children, who are scattered everywhere in Switzerland, in 
Alsace and in the Palatinate, and they know not where 
they are to be found. They were very patient and cheer- 
ful under oppression, though all their worldly goods were 
taken away. Among them were a preacher and two 
deacons. They were naturally very rugged people, who 
could endure hardships. They wore long and unshaven 
beards, disordered clothing, great shoes, which were 
heavily hammered with iron and large nails; they were 
very zealous to serve God with prayer and reading and 
in other ways, and very innocent in all their doings, as 
lambs and doves. They asked me in what way the com- 
munity was governed. I explained it to them, and it 
pleased them very much. But we could hardly talk with 
them, because, as they lived in the mountains of Switzer- 
land, far from cities and towns, and had little intercourse 
with other men, their speech is rude and uncouth, and 
they have difficulty in understanding anyone who does 
not just speak their way. Two of them have gone to 
Deventer, to see whether they can get a livelihood in this 


Most of them went to the Palatinate to seek their kins- 
men and friends, and before long a deputation from them 
came back here. On the first of May we find three of 
their preachers, Hans Burchi or Burghalter,* Melchior 
Zaller and Benedict Brechtbuhl,f with Hans Rub and 
Peter Donens, in Amsterdam, where they gave a further 
account of their affairs with the Bern Magistracy, and 
apparently consulted with the committee as to whether 
they should establish themselves near the Palatinate 
brethren on the lands in the neighborhood of Campen 
and Groningen, which was to be gradually purchased by 
the Committee on behalf of the fugitives. The majority 
preferred a residence in the Palatinate, but they soon 
found great difficulty in accomplishing it. The Palatin- 
ate community was generally poor, so that the brethren, 
with the best disposition, could be of little service in 
insuring the means of gaining a livelihood. There was a 
scarcity of lands and farm-houses, and there was much to 
be desired in the way of religious liberty, since they were 
subject entirely to the humors of the Elector ; or, worse 
still, his officers. For nearly seven years, often supported 
by the Netherland brethren, they waited and persevered, 
always hoping for better times. Then, their numbers 
being continually increased by new fugitives and exiles 
from Switzerland, they finally determined upon other 
measures, and at a meeting of their elders at Manheim, 
in February, 17 17, decided to call upon the Nether- 
landers for help in carrying out the great plan of remov- 

* Hans Burghalter came to America and was a preacher at Conestoga, 
Lancaster County, in 1727. 

f According to Rupp, Bernhard B. Brechtbiihl translated the Wandchide 
Seek into the German from the Dutch. 


ifig to Pennsylvania, which they had long contemplated, 
and which had then come to maturity. Strange as it 
may appear at first glance, the very land to which the 
Swiss tyrants had once wanted to banish them had then 
become the greatest attraction. Still there was reason 
enough for it; reason, perhaps, in the information which 
their brethren sent from there to the Palatinate, but, before 
all, in the pressing invitation or instruction of the English 
King, George I., through his agent (Muntmeester), 
Ochse, at the court. " Since it has been observed," so 
reads the beginning of this remarkable paper, " that the 
Christians, called Baptists or Mennonites, have been de- 
nied freedom of conscience in various places in Germany 
and Switzerland, and endure much opposition from their 
enemies, so that with difficulty they support themselves, 
scattered here and there, and have been hindered in the 
exercise of their religion." The king offers to them for 
a habitation the country west of the Allegheny Moun- 
tains, then considered a part of Pennsylvania, but not yet 
belonging to it. Each family should have fifty acres of 
land in fee simple, and for the first ten years the use, 
without charge, of as much more as they should want, 
subject only to the stipulation that after this time the 
yearly rent for a hundred acres should be two .shillings, 
i.e., about a guilder, less six kreutzers. There is land 
enough for a hundred thousand families. They shall 
have permission to live there, not as foreigners, but on 
their engagement, without oath, to be true and obedient 
to the king, be bound as lawful subjects, and possess 
their land with the same right as if they had been born 
such, and, without interference, exercise their religion in 
meetings, just as do the " Reformed and Lutherans." 


After calling attention to the fact that in Eastern Penn- 
sylvania the land was too dear (^"20 to ;£ioo for a hun- 
dred acres), the climate in Carolina was too hot, New 
York and Virginia were already too full for them to 
settle there with good chances of success, an attractive 
description of the country followed in these words : 
" This land is in a good and temperate climate, not too 
hot or too cold ; it lies between the 39th and 43d 
parallels of north latitude, and extends westward about 
two hundred German miles. It is separated from Vir- 
ginia and Pennsylvania by high mountains ; the air is 
very pure, since it lies high ; it is very well watered, 
having streams, brooks and springs, and the soil has the 
reputation of being better than any that can be found in 
Pennsylvania and Virginia. Walnut, chestnut, oak and 
mulberry trees grow naturally in great profusion, as well 
as many fruit-bearing trees, and the wild white and 
purple grapes in the woods are larger and better than in 
any other place in America. The soil is favorable for 
wheat, barley, rye, Indian corn, hemp, flax and also silk, 
besides producing many other useful things much more 
abundantly than in Germany. A field can be easily 
planted for from ten to twenty successive years without 
manure. It is also very suitable for such fruits as apples, 
pears, cherries, prunes, quinces, and especially peaches, 
which grow unusually well, and bear fruit in three years 
from the planting of the stone. All garden crops do 
very well, and vineyards can be made, since the wild 
grapes are good, and would be still better if they were 
dressed and pruned. Many horses, cattle and sheep can 
be raised and kept, since an excellent grass grows 
exuberantly. Numbers of hogs can be fattened on the 


wild fruits in the bushes. This land is also full of cattle 
(Rundvieh), called buffaloes and elks, none of which are 
seen in Pennsylvania, Virginia or Carolina. Twenty or 
thirty of these buffaloes are found together. There are 
also bears, which hurt nobody. They feed upon leaves 
and wild fruits, on which they get very fat, and their flesh 
is excellent. Deer exist in great numbers, beside Indian 
cocks and hens (turkeys ?), which weigh from twenty to 
thirty pounds each ; wild pigeons more than in any 
other place in the world ; partridges, pheasants, wild 
swans, geese, all kinds of ducks, and many other small 
fowls and animals ; so that if the settlers can only supply 
themselves for the first year with bread, some cows for 
milk and butter, and vegetables, such as potatoes, peas, 
beans, etc., they can find flesh enough to eat from the 
many wild animals and birds, and can live better than 
the richest nobleman. The only difficulty is that they 
will be about thirty miles from the sea ; but this, by 
good management, can be made of little consequence." 
Apparently this description sounded like enchantment 
in the ears of the poor Swiss and Palatinates, who had 
never known anything but the thin soil of their native 
country, and who frequently met with a refusal if they 
sought to secure a farm of one or two acres. And how 
was that land of promise to be reached? Easily enough. 
They had only before the first of March to present them- 
selves to one or another of the well-known merchants at 
Frankfort, pay £$, or twenty-seven guilders each (chil- 
dren under ten years of age at half rates), that is, £2 
for transportation, and £1 for seventy pounds of biscuit, 
a measure and a half of peas, a measure of oatmeal and 
the necessary beer, and immediately they would be sent 


in ships to Rotterdam, thence to be carried over to Vir- 
ginia. First, however, in Holland, one-half of the fare 
must be paid and additional provision, etc., secured, viz. : 
twenty -four pounds of dried beef, fifteen pounds of cheese, 
and eight and a quarter pounds of butter. Indeed, they 
were advised to provide themselves still more liberally 
with edibles, and with garden seeds and agricultural 
implements, linen, shirts, beds, table goods, powder and 
lead, iurniture, earthenware, stoves, and especially money 
to buy " seeds, salt, horses, swine and fowls," to be taken 
along with them. All of these things would indeed cost 
a large sum, but what did that signify in comparison 
with the luxury which was promised them ? Should not 
the Netherland brethren quickly and gladly furnish this 
last assistance ? So thought the Palatinate brethren. It 
is not to be wondered at, however, that the " Committee 
on Foreign Needs " judged differently. They knew how 
much exaggeration there was in the picture painted by 
the English agent. They thought they were not author- 
ized to consent to a request for assistance in the payment 
of traveling expenses, since the money was intrusted to 
them to be expended alone for the persecuted, and the 
brethren in the Palatinate were then tolerated; they 
feared the emigrants would call for more money, and in 
a word, they opposed the plan most positively and ex- 
plained that if it was persisted in no help need be ex- 
pected. Their objection, however, accomplished nothing. 
In reply to their views, the Committee received informa- 
tion, March 20th, that more than a hundred persons had 
started, and. three weeks later they heard from Rotterdam 
that those already coming numbered three hundred, 
among whom were four needy families, who required six 


hundred francs for their passage ; and thirty others were 
getting ready to leave Neuwied. Though the Committee 
had declared positively, in their letters, that they would 
have nothing to do with the whole affair, they neverthe- 
less immediately passed a secret resolution, that, " As far 
as concerns our Committee, the Friends are to be helped 
as much as possible ; " and apparently they took care 
that there should be furnished from private means, what 
as officials they could not give out of the fund. Among 
the preachers who were at the head of these colonists 
we find principally Hans Burghalter and Benedict 

The desire for emigration seemed to be entirely ap- 
peased in the Palatinate until 1726, when it broke out 
again with renewed force. The chief causes were higher 
burdens imposed upon them by the Elector, the fear of 
the outburst of war, and perhaps also, pressing letters of 
invitation written by the friends settled in Pennsylvania. 
Moreover, the Committee were guilty of a great impru- 
dence. Though they so repeatedly assured the emigrants 
that they could not and would not help them, and 
promised liberal assistance to the needy Palatines who 
abandoned the journey ; still, through pity for a certain 
Hubert Brouwer, of Neuwied, they gave him and his 
family three hundred francs passage-money. Either this 
became known in the Palatinate, or the stream could no 
longer be stayed. Though some of their elders, together 
with the Committee, tried to dissuade them, and painted 
horrible pictures of the possibility that, in the war between 
England and Spain, they might, " by Spanish ships be 
taken to the West Indies, where men are sold as slaves," 
the Palatines believed not a word of it. On April 12th, 


1727, there were one hundred and fifty ready to depart, 
and on the 16th of May, the Committee were compelled 
to write to the Palatinate that they " ought to be informed 
of the coming of those already on the way, so that they 
can best provide for them ; " and they further inquired 
" how many would arrive without means, so that the 
Society might consider whether it would be possible for 
them to arrange for the many and great expenses of the 

Some did not need help, and could supply from their 
own means what was required ; but on the 20th the Com- 
mittee learned that forty-five more needy ones had started 
from the Palatinate. These with eight others cost the 
Society 3 27 if. I5st. Before the end of July twenty-one 
more came to Rotterdam, and so it continued. No 
wonder that the Committee, concerned about such an 
outpouring, requested the community in Pennsylvania 
" to announce emphatically to all the people from the pul- 
pit that they must no more advise their needy friends and 
acquaintances to come out of the Palatinate, and should 
encourage them with the promise that, if they only re- 
mained across the sea, they would be liberally provided 
for in everything." If, however, they added, the Penn- 
sylvanians wanted to pay for the passage of the poor 
Palatines, it would then, of course, be their own affair. 
This the Pennsylvanians were not ready nor in a condi- 
tion to do. The Committee also sent forbidding letter 
after letter to the Palatinate, but every year they had to 
be repeated, and sometimes, as, for instance, May 6th, 
1733, they drew frightful pictures : "We learn from New 
York that a ship from Rotterdam going to Pennsylvania 
with one hundred and fifty Palatines wandered twenty- 


four weeks at sea. When they finally arrived at port 
nearly all the people were dead. The rest, through the 
want of vivrcs, were forced to subsist upon rats and 
vermin, and are all sick and weak. The danger of such 
an occurrence is always so great that the most heedless 
do not run the risk except through extreme want." 
Nevertheless, the stream of emigrants did not cease. 
When finally over three thousand of different sects came 
to Rotterdam, the Committee, June 15th, 1732, adopted 
the strong resolution that under no pretence would they 
furnish means to needy Palatines, except to pay their 
fares back to their fatherland. By rigidly maintaining 
this rule, and thus ending where they undoubtedly should 
have commenced, the Committee put a complete stop to 
emigration. On the 17th of March they reported that 
they had already accomplished their object, and from that 
time they were not again troubled with requests for pas- 
sage-money to North America.* In the meanwhile 
their adherence to this resolution caused some coolness 
between the communities in the Netherlands and in Penn- 
sylvania. Still their intercourse was not entirely termi- 
nated. A special circumstance gave an impulse which 
turned the Pennsylvanians again toward our brotherhood 
in 1742. Their colony had increased wonderfully ; they 
enjoyed prosperity, rest, and what the remembrance of 

* This is, of course, correct as far as the Committee at Amsterdam is con- 
cerned, but neither emigration nor Mennonite aid ended at this time. The 
Schwenkfelders, some of whom came over only the next year, speak in warm 
and grateful terms of the aid rendered them by the Mennonites. Their 
MS. Journal, now in possession of Abraham H. Cassel, says : " Mr. Henry 
Van der Smissen gave us on the ship 1 6 loaves of bread, 2 Dutch cheese, 2 
tubs of butter, 4 casks of beer, two roasts of meat, much flour and biscuit, 
and 2 bottles of French brandy, and otherwise took good care of us." 


foreign sufferings made more precious than all, complete 
religious freedom ; but they talked with some solicitude 
about their ability to maintain one of their points of belief 
— absolute non-participation in war, even defensive. They 
had at first been so few in numbers that they were un- 
noticed by the government, but now it was otherwise. 
Could they, when a general arming of the people was 
ordered to repel a hostile invasion of the neighboring 
French colonists or an incursion of the Indians, refuse to 
go, and have their conscientious scruples respected? 
They were in doubt about it, and little indications 
seemed to warrant their uncertainty. The local magis- 
tracy and the deputed authorities looked favorably upon 
their request for complete freedom from military service, 
but explained that they were without the power to grant 
the privilege which they thought existed in the King of 
England alone. In consequence of this explanation the 
Pennsylvania Mennonites resolved to write, as they did 
under date of May 8th, 1742, to Amsterdam and Haarlem, 
and ask that the communities there would bring their 
powerful influence to bear upon the English Court in 
their behalf, as had been done previously through the 
intervention of the States-General when alleviation was 
obtained in the case of the Swiss and Litthauer brethren. 
This letter seems to have miscarried. It cannot be found 
in the archives of the Amsterdam community, and their 
minutes contain no reference to it, so that its contents 
would have remained entirely unknown if the Pennsyl- 
vanians had not written again October 19th, 1745, com- 
plaining of the silence upon this side, and repeating in a 
few words what was said in it. Though it is probable 
that the letter of 1742 was not received, it may be that 


our forefathers laid it aside unanswered, thinking it unad- 
visable to make the intervention requested before the 
North American brethren had substantial difficulty about 
the military service; and it must be remarked that in the 
reply, written from here to the second letter, there is not 
a word said upon this subject, and allusions only arc 
made to things which, in comparison, the Pennsylvanians 
surely thought were of much less importance. 

In the second part of their letter of October, 1745, 
which is in German, the Pennsylvanians write: "As the 
flames of war appear to mount higher, no man can tell 
whether the cross and persecution of the defenceless 
Christians will not soon come, and it is therefore of im- 
portance to prepare ourselves for such circumstances 
with patience and resignation, and to use all available 
means that can encourage steadfastness and strengthen 
faith. Our whole community have manifested an unani- 
mous desire for a German translation of the Bloody 
Theatre of Tieleman Jans Van Braght, especially since in 
this community there is a very great number of new- 
comers, for whom we consider it to be of the greatest im- 
portance that they should become acquainted with the 
trustworthy witnesses who have walked in the way of 
truth, and sacrificed their lives for it." 

They further say that for years they had hoped to 
undertake the work, and the recent establishment of a 
German printing office had revived the wish, but "the bad 
paper always used here for printing " discouraged them. 
The greatest difficulty, however, was to find a suitable 
translator, upon whose skill they could entirely rely, 
without the fear that occasionally the meaning would be 
perverted. Up to that time no one had appeared among 


them to whom they could give the work with perfect con- 
fidence, and they therefore requested the brethren in Hol- 
land to look around for such a translator, have a thousand 
copies printed, and send them bound, with or without 
clasps and locks, or in loose sheets, to Pennsylvania, not, 
however, until they had sent over a complete account of 
the cost. The letter is dated at Schiebach, and bears the 
signatures of Jacob Godschalk, Martin Kolb, Michael 
Ziegler,* Heinrich Funk, Gilles Kassel and Dielman 
Kolb. Not until the ioth of February, 1748, did the 
"Committee on Foreign Needs," in whose hands the 
letter was placed, find time to send an answer. Its tenor 
was entirely unfavorable. They thought the translation 
"wholly and entirely impracticable, as well because it 
would be difficult to find a translator as because of the 
immense expense which would be incurred, and which 
they could very easily avoid." As "this book could cer- 
tainly be found in the community, and there were some 
of the brethren who understood the Dutch language," it 
was suggested "to get them to translate into the German 
some of the chief histories wherein mention is made of 
the confessions of the martyrs, and which would serve for 
the purpose, and have them copied by the young people." 
By so doing they would secure "the double advantage 
that through the copying they would give more thought 
to it, and receive a stronger impression." 

The North American brethren, at least, got the benefit 
of the information contained in this well-meant counsel, 

* Michael Ziegler, as early as 1722, lived near the present Skippackville, 
in Montgomery County, Pa., and was, for at least thirty years, one of the 
elders of the Skippack Church. He died at an advanced age about 1763, 
and left £g to the poor of that congregation. 


sent two and a-half years late. In the meantime they 
had themselves zealously taken hold of the work, and 
before the reception of the letter from Holland accom- 
plished their purpose. That same year, 1748, the com- 
plete translation of the " Martyrs' Mirror," of Tielman 
Jans van Braght, saw the light at Ephrata. It was after- 
wards printed, with the pictures from the original added, 
at Piermasens, in the Bavarian Palatinate, in 1780, and 
this second edition is still frequently found among our 
fellow-members in Germany, Switzerland and the Moun- 
tains of the Vosges. 

Though the completion of this very costly under- 
taking gives a favorable idea of the energy and financial 
strength of the North American community, they had to 
struggle with adversity, and were compelled, ten years 
later, to call for the charity of their Netherland brethren. 
Nineteen families of them had settled in Virginia, " but 
because of the cruel and barbarous Indians, who had 
already killed and carried away as prisoners so many of 
our people," they fled back to Pennsylvania. All of one 
family were murdered, and the rest had lost all their 
possessions. Even in Pennsylvania twjo hundred families, 
through recent incursions of the savages in May and 
June, lost everything, and their dead numbered fifty. In 
this dreadful deprivation they asked for help, and they 
sent two of their number, Johannes Schneyder and Mar- 
tin Funk, to Holland, giving them a letter dated Septem- 
ber 7th, 1758, signed by Michael Kaufman, Jacob Borner, 
Samuel Bohm and Daniel Stauffer. The two envoys, 
who had themselves sorely suffered from the devasta- 
tions of the war, acquitted themselves well of their mis- 
sion on the 1 8th of the following December, when they 


secured an interview with the Committee at Amsterdam. 
They made the impression of being " plain and honest 
people," gave all the explanations that were wanted, and 
received an answer to the letter they brought, in which 
was inclosed a bill of exchange upon Philadelphia for 
£50 sterling, equal to £78 us. 5d. Pennsylvania currency, 
or 5 5 of. The newly-chosen Secretary of the Committee, 
J. S. Centen, adds : " We then paid their expenses here, 
and supplied them with victuals and travelling money, 
and they departed December 17th, 1758, in the Hague 

After this event all intercourse between the North 
American Mennonites and those in the Netherlands 
ceased, except that the publisher of the well-known 
" Name List of the Mennonite Preachers " endeavored 
until the end of the last century to obtain the necessary 
information from North America for his purpose ; but it 
is apparent, upon looking at the remarkable names of 
places, that very much is wanting. They wrote to him, 
however, that he might mention as distinct communities 
Schiebach (Skippack), Germantown, Mateschen, Indian 
Kreek, Blen (Plain), Soltford (Salford), Rakkill (Rock- 
hill), Schwanin (Swamp), Deeproom (Deeprun), Berkosen 
(Perkasie), Anfrieds (Franconia), Grotenswamp (Great 
Swamp), Sackheim (Saucon), Lower Milford, with two 
meeting-houses, Hosensak, Lehay (Lehigh), Term, 
Schuylkill, and forty in the neighborhood of Kanestogis 
(Conestoga). In 1786 the community in Virginia is also 
specially mentioned. For some years this statement re- 
mained unchanged. The list of 1793 says that the num- 
ber of the Mennonite communities of North America, 
distinct from the Baptists, was two hundred, and some 
estimate them at over three hundred, of which twenty- 


three were in the Pennsylvania districts of Lancaster and 
Konestogis (Conestoga). This communication was kept 
unchanged in the Name List of 1810, but in the next, 
that of 181 5, it was at last omitted, because, according to 
the compiler, Dr. A, N. Van Gelder, " for many years, at 
least since 1801, we have been entirely without knowledge 
or information." 

In 1856 R. Baird, in his well-known work, " Religions 
in America," says that Pennsylvania is still the principal 
home of the Mennonites in the United States and that 
they have four hundred communities, with two hundred 
or two hundred and fifty preachers, and thirty thousand 
members, who are for the most part in easy circumstances. 
Perhaps these figures are correct, so far as concerns 
Pennsylvania ; but according to the " Conference Minutes 
of the entire Mennonite community in North America, 
held at West Point, Lee County, Iowa, the 28th and 29th 
of May, i860," the number of the Mennonites in all the 
States of the Union amounted to 128,000. After having 
for many years almost entirely neglected mutual relations, 
and separated into many small societies, they finally 
came to the conclusion that a firm covenant of brother- 
hood is one means to collect the scattered, to unite the 
divided and to strengthen the weak. The delegates of 
the communities come together annually, as they did the 
present year from May 31st to June 3d, at Wadsworth, 
Ohio. On the 20th of May, 1861, they repeated in their 
own way what our fathers did fifty years earlier; they 
founded a seminary for the service of the Church, with 
which, since that time, Dr. Van der Smissen, formerly 
minister at Frederickstadt, has been connected as pro- 
fessor and -director. May it be to them as great a bless- 
ing as ours has been to us. 

Christopher Dock. 

By Samuel W. Pennypacker. 

The student of American literature, should he search 
through histories, bibliographies and catalogues of libra- 
ries for traces of Christopher Dock or his works, would 
follow a vain quest. The attrition of the great sea of 
human affairs during the course of a century and a half 
has left of the pious schoolmaster, as the early Germans 
of Pennsylvania were wont to call him, only a name, and 
of his reputation nothing. Watson, the annalist, says 
that in 1740 Christopher Dock taught school in the old 
Mennonite log-church in Germantown ; the catalogue of 
the American Antiquarian Society contains the title of 
his " Schul-Ordnung" under the wrong year; and these 
meagre statements are the only references to him I have 
ever been able to find in any English book. There may 
be men still living who have heard from their grand- 
fathers of his kindly temper and his gentle sway, but 
memory is uncertain and they are rapidly disappearing. 
Between the leaves of old Bibles and in out-of-the-way 
places, in country garrets, perhaps, are still preserved 
some of the Schrifften and birds and flowers, which he 
used to write and paint as rewards for his dutiful scholars, 
but the hand that made them has long been forgotten. 
The good which he did has been interred with his bones, 



and all that he did was good. The details of his life that 
can now be ascertained are very few, but such as they 
are it is a fitting task to gather them together. The eye 
will sometimes leave the canvas on which are depicted 
the gaudy robes of a Catherine Cornaro, or the fierce 
passions of a Rizpah, and gratefully turn to a quiet rural 
scene, where broad fields stretch out and herds feed in 
the shade of oaks, and all is suggestive of peace, strength 
and happiness. It may well be doubted whether the 
story of the Crusades has attracted more readers than 
the Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kernpis ; the Life of 
Joint Woolman has found its way into the highest walks 
of literature, while that of Anthony Wayne is yet to be 
written ; and the time may come when the American his- 
torian, wearied with the study of the wars with King 
Philip to the north of us, and the wars with Powhattan to 
the south of us, will turn his lens upon Pennsylvania, 
where the principles of the Reformation produced their 
ultimate fruits, and where the religious sects who were in 
the advance of thought, driven out of conservative and 
halting Europe, lived together at peace with the natives 
and in unity among themselves, without wars. The 
sweetness and purity which filled the soul of the Menno- 
nite, the Dunker, the Schwenkfelder, the Pietist and the 
Quaker, was nowhere better exemplified than in Chris- 
topher Dock. It is told that once two men were talking 
together of him, and one said that he had never been 
known to show the slightest anger. The other replied 
that, perhaps, his temper had not been tested, and pres- 
ently, when Dock came along, he reviled him fiercely, 
bitterly and profanely. The only reply made by Dock 
was : " Friend, may the Lord have mercy upon thee." 


He was a Mennonite, who came from Germany to Penn- 
sylvania about 1 7 14. There is a tradition that he had 
been previously drafted into the army, but had been dis- 
charged because of his convictions and refusal to bear 
arms. In 17 18, or perhaps four years earlier, he opened 
a school for the Mennonites on the Skippack. It was an 
occupation to which he felt he was Divinely called, and he 
continued it without regard to compensation, which was 
necessarily very limited, for ten years. At the expiration 
of this period he went to farming. On the 28th of 9th 
month, 1735, he bought from the Penns one hundred 
acres of land in Salford Township, now Montgomery 
County, for £15 10s., and, doubtless, this was the tract 
upon which he lived. For ten years he was a husband- 
man ; but for four summers he taught school in German- 
town, in sessions of three months* each year,^and it would 
seem to have occurred during this period. While away 
from the school he was continually impressed with a con- 
sciousness of duties unfulfilled, and in 1738 he gave up 
his farm and returned to his old pursuit. He then opened 
two schools, one in Skippack and one in Salford, which 
he taught three days each alternately, and for the rest of 
his life he devoted himself to this labor unceasingly. 

In 1750 Christopher Saur, the Germantown publisher, 
conceived the idea that it would be well to get a written 
description of Dock's method of keeping school, with a 
view to printing it, in order, as he said, that other school- 
teachers whose gift was not so great, might be in- 
structed ; that those who cared only for the money they 
received might be ashamed ; and that parents might 
know how a well arranged school was conducted, and 
how themselves to treat children. To get the description 


was a matter requiring diplomacy, because of-the decided 
feeling on the part of Dock that it would not be sinless 
to do anything for his own praise, credit or elevation. 
Saur, therefore, wrote to Dielman Kolb, a prominent 
Mennonite minister in Salford, and a warm friend of 
Dock, urging his request and presenting a series of ques- 
tions which he asked to have answered. Through the 
influence of Kolb the reluctant teacher was induced to 
undertake a reply, and the treatise was completed on the 
8th of August, 1750. He only consented, however, upon 
the condition that it should not be printed during his 
lifetime. For nineteen years afterwards the manuscript 
lay unused. In the meantime the elder Saur had died, 
and the business had passed into the hands of his son, 
Christopher Saur, the second. Finally, in 1769, some 
" friends of the common good," getting wearied with the 
long delay, succeeded in overcoming the scruples of 
Dock and secured his consent to having it printed. It 
met with further vicissitudes. Having read the manu- 
script Saur mislaid it, and after a careful search con- 
cluded that it must have been sold along with some waste 
paper. He offered a reward for its return through his 
newspaper. People began to report that he had found 
something in it he did not like and had put it away pur- 
posely. The satisfied author sent a messenger to him to 
say " that I should not trouble myself about the loss of 
the writing. It had never been his opinion that it ought 
to be printed in his lifetime, and so he was very well 
pleased that it had been lost." At length, after it had 
been lost for more than a year, it was found in a place 
through which he and his people had thoroughly 
searched. It was at once published in a large octavo 


pamphlet of fifty-four pages. The full title is : " Eine 
einfaeltige und gruendliche abgefasste Schul-Ordnung, 
darinnen deutlich vorgestellt wird, auf welche weisse die 
Kinder nicht nur in denen in Schulen gewoehnlichen 
Lehren bestens angebracht, sondern auch in der Lehre 
der Gottseiigkeit wohl unterrichtet werden moegen. Aus 
Liebe zu dem menschlichen Geschlecht aufgesetzt dutch 
den wohlerfarnen und lang geuebten Schulmeister Chris- 
toph Dock; und durch einige Freunde des gemeinen 
Bestens dem Druck uebergeben. Germantown, gedruckt 
und zu finden bey Christoph Saur, 1770." 

The importance of this essay consists in the fact that 
it is the earliest written and published in America upon 
the subject of school-teaching, and that it is the only 
picture we have of the colonial country school* It is 
remarkable that at a time when the use of force was con- 
sidered essential in the training of children, views so 
correct upon the subject of discipline should have been 
entertained. The only copy of the original edition I have 
ever seen is in the Cassel collection at Harleysville, re- 
cently secured by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 
and a ten years' search for one upon my own part has so 
far resulted in failure. A second edition was printed by 
Saur the same year, of which there is a copy in the 
library of the German Society of Philadelphia. In 186 1 
the Mennonites of Ohio published an edition, reprinted 
from a copy of the second edition, at the office of the 
Gospel Visitor, at Columbia, in that State. This publica- 
tion also met with an accident. A careless printer, who 
was setting type by candlelight, knocked over his candle 

* I know of no publication on the subject written earlier, and the biblio- 
graphy of the American Antiquarian Society shows none. 


and burned up one of the leaves of the original. The 
work was stopped because the committee having the 
matter in charge could find no other copy. Finally, in 
despair, they wrote to A. H. Cassel, of Harleysville, 
Pennsylvania, who, without hesitation, took the needed 
leaf from his copy and sent it to them by mail. Mirabile 
dictu ! It was scrupulously cared for and speedily re- 
turned. It is difficult to determine which is the more ad- 
mirable, the confiding simplicity of a book-lover who will- 
ingly ran such a risk of making his own copy imperfect, 
or the Roman integrity which, being once in the posses- 
sion of the only leaf necessary to complete a mutilated 
copy, firmly resisted temptation. 

Volume I, No. 33, of the GeistlicJics Magazicn, an ex- 
ceedingly rare periodical, published by Saur about 
1764, is taken up with a " Copia einer Schrift welche der 
Schulmeister, Christoph Dock, an seine noch lebende 
Schueler zur Lehr und Vermahnung aus liebe geschrie- 
ben hat." It is signed at the end by Dock, and the fol- 
lowing note is added : " N. B. The printer has considered 
it necessary to put the author's name to this piece first, 
because it is specially addressed to his scholars, though 
it suits all men without exception, and it is well for them 
to know who addresses them ; and, secondly, the beloved 
author has led, and still in his great age leads such a 
good life that it is important and cannot be hurtful to 
him that his name should be known. May God grant 
that all who read it may find something in it of practical 
benefit to themselves." 

No. 40, of the same magazine, consists of " Hundert 
noethige Sitten-Regeln fuer Kinder." It maybe claimed 
for these Rules of Conduct that they are the first original 


American publication upon the subject of etiquette. It 
is not only a very curious and entertaining paper, but it 
is exceedingly valuable as an illustration of the customs 
and modes of life of those to whom it was addressed, and 
of what was considered " manners " among them. From 
it a picture of the children, silent until they were ad- 
dressed, seated upon stools around a table, in the centre 
of which was a large, common dish wherein each child 
dipped with his spoon, and of the homely meal, begun 
and closed with prayer, may be distinctly drawn. 

In No. 41, of the magazine, there is a continuation, or 
second part, containing " Hundert christliche Lebens- 
Regeln fuer Kinder." There is nothing said in either of 
these papers concerning the author, but if the internal 
evidence were not in itself sufficient, the descendants of 
Saur have preserved the knowledge that they were 
written by Dock. 

In No. 15, Vol. II, of the magazine, are " Zwey erbau- 
liche Lieder, welche der Gottselige Christoph Dock, 
Schulmeister an der Schipbach, seinen lieben Schuelern, 
und alien andern die sie lesen, zur Betrachtung hinter- 
lassen hat." 

He wrote a number of hymns, some of which are still 
used among the Mennonites in their church services. 
These hymns, so far as they are known to me, are as 
follows, the first line of each only being given : 

1. Kommt, Hebe Kinder, kommt herbey. 

2. Ach kommet her ihr Menschen Kinder. 

3. Mein Lebensfaden lauft zu Ende. 

4. Ach Kinder wollt ihr lieben. 

5. Fromm seyn ist ein Schatz der Jugend. 

6. An Gottes gnad und milden Seegen. 

7. Allein auf Gott setz dein vertrauen. 


During the later years of his life Dock made his home 
with Heinrich Kassel, a Mennonite farmer on the Skip- 
pack. One evening in the Fall of 1 771 he did not re- 
turn from his labors at the usual time. A search was 
made and he was found in the school-house on his knees 
— dead. After the dismissal of the scholars for the day 
he had remained to pray, and the messenger of death had 
overtaken him at his devotions — a fitting end to a life 
which had been entirely given to pious contemplation 
and useful works. 

He left two daughters, Margaret, wife of Henry 
Strykers, of Salford; and Catharine, wife of Peter Jansen, 
of Skippack. 

Der Blutige Schauplatz oder Martyrer 

" Among all the things which men have or strive for 
through their whole lives," said Alphonse the wise, King 
of Arragon," there is nothing better than old wood to burn, 
old friends for company and old books to read. All the 
rest are only bagatelles." The wise king was something 
of a book worm, and mentioned last, by way of climax, 
the treasures that lay next his heart. Doubtless he was 
thinking all the while how the wood turns to ashes, that 
sooner or later " marriage and death and division " carry 
off our friends, and that the pleasure derived from old 
books alone is pure and permanent. What can exceed 
the delight of a connoisseur, familiar with authors, im- 
prints, papers and bindings, and educated to an apprecia- 
tion of the difference between leaves cut and uncut, upon 
discovering a perfect copy of an extremely rare book ? 
In the present age of the world we measure the value of 
pretty much everything by the amount of money it will 
bring. In Europe a copy of the first edition of the De- 
cameron has been sold for £2,260 sterling, and one of the 
Gutenberg Bible, on vellum, for £3*400. In this country 
we have not yet reached to that height of enthusiasm or 
depth of purse, but in the late sale of the library of Mr. 
George Brinley a copy of the first book printed in New 
York, by William Bradford, brought $1,600. Up to the 



present time the noblest specimen of American colonial 
biography has remained utterly unknown to the most 
learned of our bibliophilus. 

Men, communities and nations have their origin, de- 
velopment and fruition ; so have books. In Holland, in 
the year 1562, there appeared a duodecimo of about two 
hundred and fifty leaves in the Dutch language, called Hct 
offer des Heeren. This was the germ or starting point. 
Of later years a copy of the same was secured by a pub- 
lishing house in Philadelphia and sold for $120. It con- 
tained biographical sketches of a number of the early 
martyrs of the Doopsgezinde or Mennonites, a sect which 
was the antetype of the Quakers, and these sketches were 
accompanied by hymns describing in rhyme not only their 
piety and sufferings, but even the manner and dates of 
their death. 

To publish such a book was then punishable by fire, 
and the title page therefore gives no indications as to 
where it was printed or who was the printer. Meeting 
together in secret places and in the middle of the night, 
the linen weavers of Antwerp and the hardy peasants of 
Friesland cherished their religious zeal and their venera- 
tion for Menno Simons by singing and reading about 
their martyrs. Next to the Bible this book was most in 
demand among them; so sketches were gathered and 
added to it, when later editions were printed in the years 
1567, 1570, 1576, 1578, 1580, 1589, 1595 and 1599; but 
many copies were, along with their owners, burned by the 
executioners, and the book is now very scarce. It was 
followed by a large quarto of eight hundred and sixty- 
three pages, written by Hans de Ries and Jacques Outer- 
man, and printed at Hoorn in 16 17 by Zacharias Cor- 


nelisz. The next edition was a handsome black-letter 
folio of ten hundred and fifty-six pages, printed at Har- 
lem by Hans Passchier von Wesbush, in 163 1, and in 
1660, Tielman Jans Van Braght, a Mennonite theologian 
at Dortrecht, who was born in 1625 and died in 1664, 
published " Het Bloedigh Toneel der Doops Gesinde en 
Wereloose Christenen," a folio of thirteen hundred and 
twenty-nine pages. It was reproduced in 1685 in two 
magnificent folio volumes, handsomely illustrated with 
a frontispiece, and a hundred and four copper plates en- 
graved by the celebrated Jan Luyken. 

This book in its immense proportions is thus seen to 
have been a gradual culmination of the research and 
literary labors of many authors. It is the great historical 
work of the Mennonites, and the most durable monument 
of that sect. It traces the history of those Christians 
who, from the time of the Apostles, were opposed to the 
baptism of infants and to warfare, including the Lyonists, 
Petrobusians and Waldenses ; details the persecutions of 
the Mennonites by the Spaniards in the Netherlands 
during the time of the Spanish Inquisition, and the Cal- 
vinists in Switzerland, together with the individual suffer- 
ings of many hundreds who were burned, drowned, 
beheaded or otherwise maltreated. 

Many copies of the book were brought to America, 
but they were in Dutch. No German translation existed. 
On the 19th of October, 1745, Jacob Godshalk, of Ger- 
mantown, Dielman Kolb, of Salford, Michael Ziegler, 
Yilles Kassel and Martin Kolb, of Skippack, and Henry 
Funk, of Indian Creek, the author of two religious 
works, sent a letter to Amsterdam asking assistance to 
have the book translated into the German language. No 


reply was received until February ioth, 1748, when no 
aid was promised. Without waiting longer the Ameri- 
cans had, in the mean time, found a way to accomplish 
their purpose. An agreement was then made with the 
brotherhood at Ephrata, Lancaster County, to have 
their great martyr-book, which was in the Dutch lan- 
guage, translated and printed in German. The printing 
of the martyr-book was then taken in hand, for which im- 
portant work fifteen brethren were elected, and it took 
them three years to complete the work. The price per 
copy was fixed at twenty shillings. It was printed in 
large folio, using sixteen quires of paper, and making an 
edition of thirteen hundred copies. Heinrich Funk and 
Dielman Kolb were appointed a committee by the Men- 
nonites to make the arrangements with the community 
at Ephrata and to supervise the translation.* This book 
had, finally, in the revolutionary war, a singular fate. 
There being great need of all war material and also 
paper, and it having been discovered that in Ephrata was 
a large quantity of printed paper, an arrest was soon laid 
upon it. Many objections were raised, and among others 
it was alleged that since the English army was so near 
this circumstance might have a bad effect. They were 
determined, however, to give up nothing and that all 
must be taken by force ; so two wagons and six soldiers 
came and carried off the martyr-books. This caused 
great offense throughout the land. Thus by an irony of 
fate the story of the defenseless Christians was made to 
envelope the powder and ball that were fired into the 
faces of the British soldiers at Brandywine and German- 

* The translator was Peter Miller. — A.UTHOR. 


Among the additions made at Ephrata were twelve 
stanzas, upon page 939, concerning the martyrdom of 
Hans Haslibacher, taken from the "Ausbundt" or hymn- 
book of the Swiss Mennonites. Some of the families in 
Pennsylvania and other parts of the United States, the 
sufferings of whose ancestors are mentioned in it, are 
those bearing the names of Kuster, Hendricks, Yocum, 
Bean, Rhoads, Gotwals, Jacobs, Johnson, Royer, Zim- 
merman, Shoemaker, Keyser, Landis, Meylin Brubaker, 
Kolb, Weaver, Snyder, Wanger, Grubb, Bowman, Bach- 
man, Zug, Aker, Garber, Miller, Kassel and Wagner. 

The republication, at that early date, of a work so im- 
mense, certainly marks an epoch in the literary history 
of America. The war of 18 12 called forth another 
American edition, which was published in 18 14 by Joseph 
Ehrenfried, at Lancaster. Shem Zook, an Amish Men- 
nonite, had a quarto edition published in Philadelphia in 
1849, an d John Funk, of Elkhart, Indiana, issued another 
in 1870. An imperfect English translation, by I. D. 
Rupp, appeared in 1837, and in 1853 a translation by 
the Hansard Knollys Society of London was in course 
of preparation and afterwards published. The Mennonite 
Publishing Company, of Elkhart, Indiana, published a 
new edition of this work, which was translated from the 
Dutch editions of 1660 and 1685, and was issued in the 
spring of 1887, in a full bound illustrated royal octavo 
volume of 1,093 pages, and more complete than any pre- 
vious edition. 

Among the literary achievements of the Germans of 
Pennsylvania it surpasses, though eight years later, the 
great quarto Bible of Christopher Saur, the first German 
Bible in America printed at Germantown in 1743 which, 
for nearly half a century, had no English rival. 

Settlement at Skippack. 

The first impulse followed by the first wave of emigra- 
tion came from Crefeld, a city of the Lower Rhine, within 
a few miles of the borders of Holland. On the ioth of 
March, 1682, William Penn conveyed to Jacob Telner, of 
Crefeld, doing business as a merchant in Amsterdam, 
Jan Streepers, a merchant of Kaldkirchen, a village in 
the vicinity, still nearer to Holland, and Dirk Sipman, of 
Crefeld, each 5,000 acres of land to be laid out in Penn- 
sylvania. Telner had been in America between the years 
1678 and 1681, and we may safely infer that his acquaint- 
ance with the country had much influence in bringing 
about the purchase. On the nth of June, 1683, Penn 
conveyed to Govert Remke (Johann Remke was a Men- 
nonite preacher in 1 75 2), Lenart Arets and Jacob Isaacs 
Van Bebber, a baker, all of Crefeld, 1,000 acres of land 
each, and they, together with Telner, Streepers and Sip- 
man, constituted the original Crefeld purchasers. On 
the 1 8th of June, 1683, the little colony was in Rotter- 
dam accompanied by Jacob Telner, Dirk Sipman and Jan 
Streepers, and Telner conveyed 2,000 acres of land to the 
brothers Op den Graeff. 

Of the six original purchasers, Jacob Telner and Jacob 
Isaacs Van Bebber are known to have been Mennonites. 
Sipman selected as his attorneys here at various times 
Herman Op den Graeff, Hendrick Sellen and Van Beb- 



ber, all of whom were Mennonites. Of the emigrants, 
Dirk, Herman and Abraham Op den Graeff were Men- 
nonites. * Jacob Telner was baptized in the Mennonite 
church in Amsterdam March 29th, 1665 ; his only child, 
Susanna, married Albertus Brandt. 

After deducting the land laid out in Germantown and 
the 2,000 acres sold to the Op den Graeffs, the bulk of 
his 5,000 acres was taken up on the Skippack, about 2000 
acres, situated on the east side of the Skippack, in a tract 
for many years known as "Telner's Township." f 

In 1702 began the settlement on the Skippack. This 
first outgrowth of Germantown also had its origin at 
Crefeld, and the history of the Crefeld purchase would 
not be complete without some reference to it. As we 
have seen, of the 1 ,000 acres bought by Govert Remke, 
161 acres were laid out at Germantown; the balance he 
sold in 1686 to Dirk Sipman. Of Sipman's own pur- 
chase of 5,000 acres, 588 acres were laid out at German- 
town, and all that remained of the 6,000 acres he sold in 
1698 to Matthias Van Bebber, who, getting in addition 
500 acres allowance and 415 acres by purchase, had the 
whole tract of 6,166 acres located by patent February 
22d, 1702, on the Skippack. It was in the present Per- 
kiomen Township, Montgomery County, and adjoining 
Edward Lane and William Harmer, near what is now the 
village of Evansburg. % For the next half century at least 
it was known as Bebber's Township, or Bebber's Town, 
and the name being often met with in the Germantown 
records has been a source of apparently hopeless confu- 

* See Pennypacker 's Sketches, p. 28. 

f See Exemplification Records, Vol. 8, p. 360. 

\ Exemplification Records, Vol. 1, p. 470. 


sion to our local historians. Van Bebber immediately 
began to colonize it, the most of the settlers being Men- 
nonites. Among these were Heinrich Pannebecker, Jo- 
hannes Kuster, Johannes Umstat, Klas Jansen and Jan 
Krey, in 1702; John Jacobs, in 1704; John Newberry, 
Thomas Wiseman, Edward Beer, Gerhard und Herman 
In de Hoffen, Dirk and William Renberg, in 1706; 
William and Cornelius Dewees, Hermanus Kuster, Chris- 
topher Zimmerman, Johannes Scholl and Daniel Des- 
mond, in 1708; Jacob, Johartnes and Martin Kolb, Men- 
nonite weavers from Wolfsheim in the Palatinate, and 
Andrew Strayer, in 1709; Solomon Dubois, from Ulster 
County, New York, in 1716; Paul Fried,* in 1727; and 
in the last year the unsold balance of the tract passed 
into the hands of Pannebecker. Van Bebber gave 100 
acres for a Mennonite burying-ground and church, which 
was built about 1725, the trustees being Hendrick Sellen, 
Hermanus Kuster, Klas Jansen, Martin Kolb, Henry 
Kolb, Jacob Kolb and Michael Ziegler. 

The first ministers in the Skippack congregation were: 
Jacob Gaedschalk, Henry Kolb, Claes Jansen, Yilles 
Cassel, Michael Ziegler, Martin Kolb, Andrew Ziegler, 
Isaac Cassel, Matthias Rittenhouse, Heinrich Hunsicker, 
John Hunsicker, Henry Bartolet, Elias Landes, Abraham 

In the year 1848 the upper Mennonite meeting-house 
in Skippack was built. 

In 1849 J onn Van Fossen sold to Isaac Kulp one acre 

* This is evidently the same Paul Fried who was married to Elizabeth 
Stauffer, daughter of Hans Stauffer, who came to America January 20th, 
1 7 IO. We do not find any other by that name at that time. See sketch of 
the Stauffers. — Author. 


of land adjoining Isaac Kulp's other land, and afterwards 
Isaac Kulp sold one acre and sixty-three perches for the 
meeting-house and graveyard to Jacob F. Kulp, Daniel 
Landes and George Reiff, in trust for the Mennonite 
congregation, the deed bearing date August 21st, 1849. 
It appears that the land had been selected, bargained for, 
the house built and the burying-ground laid out in 1848, 
and title was made the following year. In 1853 the 
congregation bought eighty perches more from Abraham 
Landes. The oldest grave in this graveyard is that of 
Nathaniel, son of Henry and Mary Reiff, died September 
9th, 1848, aged 2 years, 1 1 months and 19 days. 

Their first ministers were Elias Landes and Abraham 
Wismer ; deacons, John Kratz and John Landes, Isaac 
Longaker, in Worcester, and John Gotwals, in Upper 
Providence ; the two last named belong to the Skippack 
district. George Detwiler was chosen to the ministry in 
1849. John B. Tyson was elected a deacon in 1862 and 
Jacob Mensch was chosen a minister in 1869. John B. 
Hunsberger, of Worcester, was chosen a minister in 
1873 and was ordained a Bishop in 1877. Abraham 
Kulp was elected a deacon in 1874. Joseph Gander 
of Upper Providence, was elected a deacon in 1876. 
Abraham S. Reiff was elected a deacon in Worcester in 
1877. Christian Hunsberger was chosen to the min- 
istry in the year 1879. Henry Wismer was chosen to 
the ministry in 1883. George L. Reiff was elected a 
deacon in 1881. 

The above-mentioned names I have copied from the 
Church Book containing financial accounts and other 
records of the Skippack Mennonite church from the year 
1738 down to 1887, and isfn possession of John B. Tyson, 


the present deacon, and bears the following title : " Der 
Menonisten Oder Taufgesinden Gemeinebuch. Von Die 
Gemeinde in Bebberstown Anno Domini 1738." 

The old or lower Skippack meeting-house was re- 
built about the year 1835. 

The division took place about forty years ago, when 
the present occupants held possession of the house and 
property, with Henry Johnson, Sr. (deceased), as their 
minister. His son, Henry Johnson, now one of their 
ministers, writes the following, under date of December 
1 6th, 1887: "We are generally called the 'Johnson 
Mennonites ; ' we hold to the non-resistant Confession of 
Faith. The number of our membership here is seventy- 
five or eighty. The names of the ministers at present 
are Amos K. Bean and myself." 


, W$fm 

The Organization of the Mennonite 
Church at Salford. 

Of the origin and organization of the Mennonite Church 
in Salford, Montgomery County, Pa., we have not the 
records we desire, nor are they known to exist; it is there- 
fore impossible to give an exact account of everything 
pertaining to its organization. We have, however, infor- 
mation that a deed was given for ten acres, dated October 
4th and 5th, 1738. It was purchased by Henry Funk, 
Dielman Kolb, Christian Meyer, Jr., and Abraham Reiff; 
the two first were ministers and the two last were dea- 
cons. All were residents of Franconia, except Dielman 
Kolb, who resided in Salford. The said ten acres were 
purchased of Henry Ruth, whose residence was where 
John Clemmer's now is, from 171 8 to 1747, who men- 
tions in his deed to Christian StaufTer, of the latter date, 
that terracres had been cut out of his land for the use of 
the Mennonite Baptist Church ; presumably he did not 
write the deed himself, or, if so, he would have left the 
word Baptist out. 

In what year the first house was built I have not been 
able to ascertain, but presumably in the same year, be- 
cause S. W. Pennypacker says, in his Biographical 
Sketches, p. 93, "that Christopher Dock gave up his farm 
and returned to his old pursuit; he then opened two 



schools in 1738, one in Skippack and one in Salford, 
which he taught three days each alternately." There- 
fore it seems as if the house had been built immediately 
after the land had been bought. When or in what year 
the second house was built we have nothing definite. 
The house was built of stone, one story high, and of con- 
siderable length, so that a room was partitioned off at the 
east end for a school room. The writer of this work was 
teaching school in that room in 1839. The present, 
or evidently the third house, was built in 1850. 

The earliest date on a tombstone in the graveyard is 
1741. This was Ann Reiff, wife of Hans Reiff. 

Who the first ministers were we have no record. 
Martin Kolb and Henry, his brother, the ancestor of 
George Brubaker Kulp, member of the Bar at Wilkes- 
barre, Luzerne County, came to Pennsylvania as early 
as 1 707, and was one of the earliest Mennonite preachers 
in this country, says George B. Kulp in his pamphlet. 
He further says, on page 4 : " Dielman, or Thielman 
(as the name is sometimes spelled), Kolb, another 
brother of Henry, came to Pennsylvania somewhat later. 
He was at Manheim, where he attended as a preacher to 
the Mennonite congregation, "making himself most valu- 
able by receiving and lodging his fellow-believers who fled 
from Switzerland," as appears from a letter dated August 
27th, 17 10. He settled here in Salford about the year 
1 7 18 on a tract of one hundred and fifty acres. In 1721 
he purchased two hundred and twenty-five acres more, 
and afterwards a third tract, making altogether about five 
hundred and fifty acres. He married a widow, Suavely, 
and had by her one daughter, named Elizabeth, who was 
afterwards married to Andrew Ziegler, son of Michael 


Ziegler, a Mennonite minister at Skippack. Dielman 
Kolb died in the beginning of the year 1757. His will 
was probated April 30th, 1757. The witnesses were 
Robert Jones, Martin Kolb and Isaac Kolb. There is a 
clause in his will which reads thus : " I nominate my 
loving and trusty friends, Henry Funk and Ulriegh 
Bergher (presumably now Bergey), both of Salford afore- 
said, yeomen, trustees of this my last will and testament." 

In 1750 Christopher Saur, the Germantown publisher, 
conceived the idea of having Christopher Dock's method 
of keeping school with a view of printing it. Saur, there- 
fore, wrote to Dielman Kolb, a prominent Mennonite 
minister in Salford, and a warm friend of Dock (says S. 
W. Pennypacker). So it is evident that Dielman Kolb 
was a minister and undoubtedly officiated at Salford ; also 
more likely on account of him and Dock being intimate 
friends, and Dock commenced teaching school in Salford 
in 1738. Andrew Ziegler, born March 14th, 1737, died 
October 26th, 181 1, aged 74 years, 7 months, 12 days. 
Married to Catharine Lederach, was a grandson of Diel- 
man Kolb and a Bishop in the congregation at Salford, 
also officiated as Bishop in the Mennonite congregation 
at Germantown. 

Christian Haldeman was also one of the earliest min- 
isters in Salford. He was born May 24th, 1743, old 
style, and died July 3d, 1833, new style, aged 89 years, 
1 month and 12 days. Isaac Alderfer was also a preacher 
in Salford. He was born October 1st, 1773, and died 
November 8th, 1842, aged 69 years 1 month and 1 day. 
John Bergey followed Alderfer in the ministry. He was 
born August 23d, 1783, and died December 6th, 1865, 
aged 82 years 3 months and 13 days. Jacob Kulp born 


November 2d, 1799, died April 18th, 1867, aged 67 years 
5 months and 16 day, having been in the ministry a 
number of years. 

The ministers now living in Salford (September, 1887) 
are Isaac Clemens, Henry Bauer, and Jacob Mover.* 

* For part of the above information I am indebted to James Y. Heckler, 
of Harleysville. 


Heinrich Funk emigrated from Holland or the Pala- 
tinate and settled on the Indian Creek, in Franconia 
Township, now Montgomery County, Pa., in 17 19, sev- 
eral miles from his nearest neighbor. Soon after his 
arrival a number of his brethren also came from Europe, 
and having considerably increased in numbers, formed a 
congregation of which he was chosen minister. The first 
Mennonite meeting-house in Franconia Township was 
built of stone in the year 1730.* The second house was 
also of stone, 45 by 75 feet, and was built in 1833, and has 
a seating capacity of over seven hundred. The present 
membership numbers about four hundred and fifty. 

Josiah Clemmer was chosen to the ministry in the 
year i860, and was elected Bishop in 1867, which he is 
at present; his co-workers in the ministry are Jacob 
Landis and Michael Moyer. Henry Nice was chosen to 
the ministry in 1839 and died in 1883, aged 79 years 6 
months and 21 days. Jacob Godshall was chosen to the 
ministry in 1804, was elected Bishop in i8i3,and died in 
1845, aged 75 years 9 months and 2 days. 

Among the first ministers after Heinrich Funk, who 

* J. D. Souder. 

15 (225) 


died in 1760, was his son, Christian Funk* who was 
chosen to the ministry in 1757. He was a faithful 
worker until 1774, when the war. broke out and his 
troubles commenced. . 

Jacob Funk is also mentioned as a minister in 1765 in 
the records of Franconia, and Christian Meyer a dea- 
con. A Christian Meyer is also mentioned as a min- 
ister. In 1770 Henry Rosenberger is mentioned as a 
confirmed deacon (bestaetichter Vorsteker); he was the 
last confirmed deacon in the Mennonite congregation 
known. In 1775 Jacob Oberholzer is mentioned as a 
minister; in 1779 Johannes Birkef is mentioned as a min- 
ister in Franconia; in 1760 Isaac Kolb was chosen 
Bishop. Samuel Bechtel was also a minister about that 

S. W. Pennypacker says : " Henry Funk, always one 
of the most able and enterprising of the Mennonite 
preachers, and long a Bishop, settled on the Indian 
Creek, in Franconia Township, now Montgomery 
County, in 17 19. He was ever faithful and zealous in 
his work, and did much to advance the interests of his 
church. He wrote a book upon baptism, entitled ' Ein 
Spiegel der Taufe,' published by Saur in 1744, which 
has passed through at least five editions. A more am- 
bitious effort was the ' Erklaerung einiger hauptpuncten 
des gesetzes,' published after his death by Armbruster, 
in 1763. This book was reprinted at Biel, Switzerland, 
in 1844, and at Lancaster, Pa., in 1862, and is much es- 
teemed. He and Dielman Kolb, of Salford, supervised 

* Known as Christel Funk, 
f Now Eergey, 



the translation of Van Braght's * Martyrer Spiegel ' {Mar- 
tyrs' Mirror), from the Dutch to the German, and certi- 
fied to its correctness. Beside these labors, which were 
all without pecuniary compensation, he was a miller by 
trade and acquired a considerable estate. He died about 

The Souderton meeting-house was built in 1879 °f 
brick, 40 by 50 feet, and is under the supervision of the 
Franconia congregation. 


Mennonite Church at Towamencin, Montgomery 
County, Pa.* 

In what year the first house of worship may have been 
erected is given by the following records: In 1764, 
August 27th, a deed was given from Herman Godshalk 
to Christian Weaver, William Godshalk, Goshen Shroger,f 
Peter Hendricks, Nicholaus Yeles and Garret Godshalk, 
for eighty-two perches of land, not recorded ; and my in- 
formant, John C. Boorse, states that the first house was 
built the same year. 

October 13th, 1807, a deed from Garret Godshalk to 
the elders and members of the Mennonists for the same 
ground was given and recorded in Book No. 24, page 
331, etc. ; part of this ground is a burying-ground. 

June 16th, 1798, a deed was given from John Boorse, 
Sr., to Abraham Godwals and John Boorse, Jr., for 
24 perches of land. 

Also on June 29th, 1799, a deed was given from Cath- 
arine Godshalk and Janiken Godshalk to Joseph Hen- 
dricks and William Godshalk, trustees, for 60 perches 
of la»d. 

Again, on August 5th, 1837, a deed was given from 
George Snyder to Joseph Hendricks, John Boorse, Sr., 

* The old spelling is retained in the above article so as not to destroy the 

f Goshen Shroger. We find Gerhardt Schrager in the list of those who 
paid quit-rents prior to 1734. 



Daniel Boorse, Abraham Godshalk, Peter Metz and 
David Allebach, Jr., trustees, for 1 14.48 perches of land, 
recorded in Book No. 56, page 525, etc. 

Again, March 23d, 1844, a deed was given from Abra- 
ham Godshalk to John Boorse, Abraham Godshalk, 
Daniel Boorse, Peter Metz, David Allebach and Henry 
Boorse, for 46 perches of land, recorded in Book 
No. 64, page 99, etc. 

Again, on March 28th, 1862, a deed was given from 
George Snyder to Peter Metz, Henry C. Boorse, David 
G. Allebach, Abraham M. Nise, Christian Sauder and 
Jonas K. Moyer, for 102 perches of land; recorded in 
Book No. 125, page 503, etc. 

Again, on December 2d, 1876, a deed was given from 
Elias Cassel to Peter Metz and others for 40 perches of 
land; recorded in Book No. 235, page 76, etc. 

Again, on August 16th, 1879, a deed was given from 
Jacob B. Moyer to Peter Metz and others, for one acre of 
land ; recorded in Book No. 250, page 284, etc. 

It seems evident that an organization existed in that vi- 
cinity long before the first house was erected, for the follow- 
ing reasons : First, we find gravestones in the graveyard 
bearing the dates of 1733 and 1741 ; many of the inscrip- 
tions are in German, and many among the oldest have 
become illegible. Consequently a graveyard was there 
prior to 1733. Secondly, records show that the follow- 
ing-named persons lived in that vicinity and paid quit- 
rents prior to 1734: Peter Weber, Christian Brenneman, 
Herman Godshalk, Henrich Frey, Yellis Yellis, Christian 
Weber, Jacob Frey, Peter Tison, Gerhardt Schrager 
(presumably afterwards Schrack) and Abraham Luken. 

About the year 1805 the first meeting-house was 


destroyed by fire, when the second house was built on or 
near the same spot where the first house stood. The 
third or present meeting-house was erected in the year 
1862, considerably larger than the second. David Alle- 
bach, Sr., has been their deacon (or Vorsteher) for many 
years. He is now well advanced in years. Their present 
minister is Christian Allebach, son of John Allebach, 
preacher at Rockhill, Bucks County, Pa. 

We now come to the most historic spot in the grave- 
yard. Here repose the remains of General Francis 
Nash, Colonel Boyd, Major White and Lieutenant Smith 
of the Continental Army, either slain or mortally wounded 
in the attack at Germantown. On the morning of Octo- 
ber 4th, 1777, Washington retreated with his army and 
established his camp nearly a mile northwest of Kulps- 
ville, in the vicinity of the above-mentioned meeting- 
house, near the Lower Salford line. The officers wounded 
in the battle were brought to a farmhouse on the Forty- 
foot road, about a mile southwest of the meeting-house. 
Washington ordered that General Nash should be interred 
at 10 o'clock in the above-named burying-place. Over 
the body of General Francis Nash has been placed a 
white marble monument about twelve feet high, erected 
in 1844 by the citizens of Germantown and Norristown. 
He was a resident of Virginia, being also a descendant 
of the Mennonite Church. The city of Nashville, Ten- 
nessee, is named after him. 

This congregation was generally attended by ministers 
from neighboring congregations in turn. Jacob Kulp, 
of Hatfield, Montgomery County, Pa., had charge of it 
as Bishop in serving communion and baptism.* 

* As far as the title to the above is concerned I am indebted to John C. 
Boorse, Esq., of Kulpsville, Montgomery County, Pa. 

Lansdale, Montgomery County, Pa. 

The Mennonite meeting-house above Lansdale, or 
commonly called Plain, in Hatfield Township, Mont- 
gomery County, Pa., is evidently a very old place. My 
informant says a deed cannot be found, therefore dates 
cannot be given, but it is evident that a congregation 
was organized and a meeting-house built before the Revo- 
lutionary War, because David Ruth and Jacob Oberholzer, 
ministers in the first house, are mentioned in the Christian 
Funk controversy in the year 1774, of the Plain congre- 
gation. The second meeting-house was built in 181 5. 
The following ministers served during the time of the 
second house : John Krupp, Jacob Kulp and Joseph 
Cassel. The third was built in 1867; ministers of which 
were Jacob C. Loux and Henry Godshalk. 

Bishop Jacob Kulp, of Hatfield, Montgomery County, 
Pa., was born in 1799; was ordained a minister in 1838; 
four years afterwards he was elected a Bishop, in which 
capacity he served faithfully until he died, in 1875, in his 
seventy-sixth year. His father was Dilman Kolb, who 
was married to Barbara Cassel, daughter of Hupert 
Cassel, in 1779. Johannes Wireman is mentioned as a 
deacon in the year 1 804. 


Bartolet's Mennonite Meeting-house 


Frederick Township, Montgomery County, Pa. 

Bartolet's old burying-ground existed about a hun- 
dred years or more prior to the building of the meet- 
ing-house ; the oldest stone with an inscription is 1766. 
It had been in existence many years prior to 1766. Of 
those who sleep here, the stones give us the family names 
of Bertolet, Bertolette (two distinct families), Bliem, De 
Nice, Dotterer, Frey, Godshalk, Grubb, Hummel, Huns- 
berger, Nyce, Shoemaker, Smoll, Weidman, Zoller, 
Schmidt, Schlick. Many of the first or oldest graves 
have no inscription; among them are the Esterlines, 
Hahn, Grode, Smith, etc. A colored family of former 
times, also a number of slaves, are buried here. Their 
names are not known. Here also sleep the Lutheran, 
Reformed, Mennonite, Dunkard, Moravian, Methodist, 
Friend and Amish. In 1829 Daniel Bartolet and Jona- 
than Nyce had this graveyard enclosed with a stone wall, 
mostly at their own expense. 

Bartolet's Mennonite meeting-house was built in 1846 
on the ground purchased of Daniel and Catharine Berto- 
let. The deed is dated April 1st, 1847; the consideration 
money was 'twenty-five dollars. The ground comprises 
half an acre, and adjoins the old burying-ground above 



described. It was dedicated on Whitsuntide, 1847. 
Pastor Henry S. Bassler of the Reformed Church 
preached on this occasion; also John Oberholzer and 
Abraham Hunsicker. In the Fall of 1847 the following- 
named persons joined the congregation: Samuel Bertolet 
and Elizabeth his wife, Abraham Hunsberger and Catha- 
rine his wife, John Stauffer and Ann his wife, and Eliza- 
beth Hunsberger. 

The deed was given to Abraham Hunsberger, Henry 
Bertolet and John Hunsberger, in trust and for the use 
of a meeting-house for the Society of Mennonites, and for 
the use of the inhabitants who are burying in the bury- 
ing-ground adjoining said tract known as Bartolet's bury- 
ing-ground, that all of them can at all times get their 
ministers whereto said persons may belong, and shall 
have a right in the house to hold their funeral services. 
Further it says : In trust and for the society or congre- 
gation of Mennonites, and the free use or right of all the 
inhabitants in the neighborhood to take the meeting- 
house in use when there is a funeral at said graveyard, to 
have the house for holding their funeral services undis- 
turbed at all times, and their successors. 

On April 3d, 1874, there was purchased of Michael S. 
and Elizabeth Wagner 39y 9 ^o perches adjoining the old 
burying-ground, for the use of a free burying-ground at 
a cost of fifty dollars, which was all paid by Miss Esther 
Bertolette, of Pottstown, Pa., with the understanding that 
it should be free without distinction. 

In the Summer of 1848 the first Sabbath-school in this 
section of the county was opened in this house. 

George S. Nyce, of Frederick. 

April 1 2th, 1886. 

Gottshall's, or Schwenksville. 

By William S. Gottshall. 

This congregation, sometimes called Schwenksville, 
received its name from its present Bishop, Moses Gott- 
shall. The origin of this congregation and its present 
location was brought about in the following manner. 
Previous to 1818 there was preaching by different min- 
isters of the Mennonite Church in a school-house which 
stood in the graveyard at (now) Keely's Church, there 
being no church there at that time. On one cold Sunday 
morning, when Heinrich Hunsicker came to preach, the 
chimney was stuffed with wet flax and tow, so that no 
fire could be made. The Mennonites, not wishing to 
make any disturbance, immediately left and made arrange- 
ments to build a meeting-house of their own. Gottshall 
Gottshall offered them land about a mile and a half south- 
west from where Andrew Ziegler also offered them some 
land ; when a vote was taken the majority were for 
Ziegler's, where, in 1 8 18, a piece of ground, containing 
one acre and seven perches, was bought for the consider- 
ation of one dollar, in order to make legal title. The trus- 
tees, who had previously been elected, were Henry Ziegler, 
William Gottshall, Samuel Pannebacker, Jr., John Holde- 
man, John Bingaman, John Keelor, Jr., and John Her- 
stein. A stone meeting-house was erected thereon the 



same year. Services were held every four weeks by 
different ministers of the Mennonite Church, and for 
several years the deacon, William Gottshall, had to go 
to the Conference to procure ministers to preach at stated 
times, until the year 1847, when Moses Gottshall was 
chosen as their minister, and three years later he was 
ordained a Bishop. The congregation was under the 
jurisdiction of the Skippack District. In 185 1 the present 
brick meeting-house was erected, and in 1859 thirty-three 
perches of land on the southwest side were exchanged 
for thirty-three perches on the northeast side with John 
Steiner. In 1884 an addition was made to the grave- 

Moses Godshall was the first minister and Bishop. 
Other ministers were S. H. Longaker, N. B. Grubb and 
William S. Gottshall.* 

* After the above was written, William S. Godshall was ordained a 
Bishop, on the 25th day of November, 1886. — Author. 


This little place is located in Limerick Township, Mont- 
gomery County, about four miles west from Schwenks- 
ville. Tradition has it that Johannes Herrstein, a Men- 
nonite, then living in that locality, took great interest in 
the Mennonite Church ; accordingly he prepared himself 
with money and went over to Europe and made arrange- 
ments to have Jacob Denner's sermons printed and bound 
for the use of his Mennonite brethren in America. The 
books were printed at " Frankenthal am Rhein," in the 
year 1792, as the title page states, at the expense of 
" Johannes Herrstein und Johannes Schmutz." It is said 
he brought to America about five hundred copies, which 
were sold in Montgomery, Bucks and Lancaster Counties. 

In 1 82 1 the Mennonites bought seventy-four perches 
of land from Jacob Shoemaker, for the consideration of 
one dollar, for the purpose of erecting a school and 
meeting-house, and also a burying-place ; many of the 
oldest Mennonites in that vicinity lie buried there. A 
congregation has been organized there with a member- 
ship of about forty, but no regular minister was ever sta- 
tioned there. William Godshall was ordained, deacon, 
but afterwards united with the Mennonites at Schwenks- 
ville, and services were held only occasionally during the 
summer. The ministers who preached there from time to 
time were Heinrich Hunsicker, Jacob Godshall, Christian 
Halteman, John Minnich, Gebhard, High, Latshaw, Rit- 
tenhouse and Moses Godshall. The Mennonites have a 
permanent right here, which is kept up only for funerals 
and occasional services during the summer. 


Rockhill, or Gehman's. 

I have found the first deed given by Samuel Bechtel 
and wife to George Derstine and Abraham Gehman, 
trustees, dated June 2d, 1773, for one-fourth of an acre of 
ground in Rockhill Township, Bucks County, for three 
pounds, for the purpose of erecting a meeting-house and 
a burying-place. The first house was built in 1773, and 
was used as a meeting-house by the Mennonites for sixty- 
five years. It was built of logs and plank, with light 
weather-boarding. In 1838 it was taken down and a large 
stone house was built, 40 by 52^ feet, one story, with slate 
roof, and seating capacity for three hundred people. The 
building committee appointed by the congregation were 
Jacob Derstine, Samuel Horning and John Moyer. 
Since that time three or four additions of land have been 
made, so that the whole tract now contains upwards of 
three acres of ground. In 1875 Brother Samuel Landis 
died. His will provided that $ 1 ,500 should go to this con- 
gregation as a fund and be invested, the interest thereof 
should be used to pay for the building of a house for a 
sexton, to have care of the meeting-house, and after that 
is paid for, the trustees can use it as they see proper. 
In 1883 Samuel K. Detweiler offered a small tract of 
land as a present to the congregation, providing they 
would build a house thereon, and some of the brethren 



offered to donate cash sufficient to pay for it, providing 
the house would be built now. So the offer was ac- 
cepted and at once a house was built, at a cost of about 
$1,500, including out-buildings and all. 

As regards ministers, the above-named Samuel Bechtel 
was a minister. When and where he was ordained I 
could not learn ; he was ordained before the house was 
built* He died January 15th, 1802, age not given on 
his tombstone. Samuel Gehman, Bechtel's grandson, 
and grandfather of Abel Horning, was ordained to the 
ministry in 1798, and was a faithful watchman on the 
walls of Zion for forty-seven years, and died September 
24th, 1845, aged 78 years 4 months and 15 days. He 
was assisted by George Derstine, who served in the min- 
istry about twenty-five years, and died in 1837, aged 66 
years 5 months and 8 days. After him Jacob Detweiler 
was ordained in 1 840. He served about thirty-nine years, 
and died July 13th, 1879, aged 84 years 5 months and 
4 days. Abraham Fretz was ordained to the ministry in 
1843. He served faithfully through trials and afflictions 
about thirty-two years, and died, April 23d, 1875, aged 
81 years 11 months and 4 tiays. John Allebach was 
chosen as deacon; after serving two years he was or- 
dained to the ministry, in which capacity he has 
served about forty years. He is now in his eighty-first 
year, and is still attending the meetings regularly. 
Abel Horning was ordained to the ministry in 1862 and 
has already served about twenty-four years; he is now in 

* He may have been ordained in Franconia, because Franconia meeting- 
house was called Bechtel's, and a Bechtel is also mentioned in the Funk 
controversy in 1777. — Author, 


his sixty-first year. Samuel D. Detweiler was ordained 
to the ministry in 1876; is now forty-five years old. 

The deacons were as follows : First, Michael Derstine,* 
John Detweiler, John Allebach, Samuel Souder, John F. 
Detweiler, and at present (August, 1886), Joseph B. 

* Michael Derstine is mentioned as a minister in 1765, in the Franconia 

Perkasie, or Hilltown. 

The first Mennonite meeting-house in Perkasie was 
built of log in 1753, about the size of one of our old 
school-houses, on a small lot taken out of Henry Funk's 
farm, with a graveyard 44 feet square. Whether it was 
bought or donated is not known, as there is no deed. 
The above-named house stood seventy years, and was 
torn down and a new one built in 1823, on a lot adjoin- 
ing the above-mentioned lot, about 75 feet from where 
the old log house stood. This house stood sixty-nine 
years. In the year 1882 this second house was torn 
down and a new one built on the same spot where the 
old or second house stood. The membership now is 
about three hundred. A partition deed was made in the 
year 1735 to John Penn, Thomas Penn, Richard Penn 
and Magdalena Freame, daughter of William Penn, of 
the Manor of Perkasie, and a tract adjoining the Pro- 
prietory's Manor, making in all ten thousand acres. 
About the year 1742 Germans from the Province of 
Philadelphia commenced to buy these lands. 

Amongst the first Mennonite settlers who settled in 
the vicinity when the first meeting-house was built was 
Henry Funk and Christian Lederach, in 1747 ; John 
Funk, in 1748; Andrew Godshall, in 1752; Valentine 
Kratz, in 1748, and HoopertCassel, in 1758. Among the 



rest who settled about the same time, or soon after, were 
Moyers, High, Hunsberger, Kulp, Rickert, etc. 

About the first ministers (I am informed) was a Wis- 
mer and a Moyer, followed by Jacob Hunsicker and 
Jacob Hunsberger. 

The ministers now living (March, 1886) are Isaac 
Overholt,* Abraham F. Moyer, Henry B. Moyer and 
Henry Rosenberger. 

* Since the above was written the above-named Isaac Overholzer de- 
parted this life on the 6th of November, 1887, aged 72 years 9 months and 
18 days. lie was born in Bedminister Township, Bucks County, Pa., on 
the 9th of February, 1815, moved to Hilltown Township and was ordained 
to the ministry about 1847, and a snort time after to tne office of Bisho P> in 
what is now called the Blooming Glen Meeting (Perkasie), and served the 
Church in the ministerial office about forty years. — Author. 


Deep Rim Meeting-house. 

The Mennonite congregation of Bedminster Town- 
ship is one of the oldest of that denomination in Bucks 
County, Pa. The meeting-house stands in the southeast 
corner of the Township, on the north side of a branch of 
Deep Run, on a knoll facing the east. The land was 
given by William Allen, together with a farm of fifty 
acres adjoining, and the deed bears date the 24th of 
March, 1746. It was executed in trust to Abraham 
Swartz, Hans Friedt, Samuel Kolbe and Marcus Over- 
holtzer, the Bishops and deacons of the Church at that 
time. About the same time Mr. Allen presented them 
with a silver cup, still used by the congregation for sac- 
ramental purposes. The above-named Abraham Swartz 
emigrated from Germany to Pennsylvania.* He was a 
Bishop, and during the time of his ministry he lost his 
eyesight and became -perfectly blind, but he still con- 
tinued to preach. He would get some one to read a 
portion of Scripture, from which he would select his 
text for the occasion. His faithfulness in the fulfilment 
of his ministerial duties under this difficulty is indeed 
commendable. The first house of worship erected was 
built of logs, probably in the year the land was given, 

* The probability is that he was ordained before he came to this country, 
as already in 1746 he is mentioned as the first Bishop on the list to whom 
the deed for the ground for the meeting-house was given. — Author. 




which was used by the congregation until the year 1766, 
when it was replaced by a stone house, 35 by 58 feet. 
The old log house stood about fifty yards from the pres- 
ent one ; it was used many years as a school-house, and 

Enlarged Meeting-house. 

(Second House.) 

taken down in 1842. The stone house was rebuilt or 
repaired in 1794, at which time the accommodations for 
worship were also increased by taking down a division 
wall, which separated a portion of the building previously 
used as a dwelling from the audience room. This whole 
building was torn down in 1872 and a modern structure 
erected in its place. 

The next preacher was Jacob Gross, who also came 


from Germany, and was a noted and greatly esteemed 
preacher. He was a Bishop, and took a prominent part 
in the efforts which were made to settle the difficulties 
existing between the Church in Franconia and Christel 
Funk and his adherents. He is frequently mentioned in 
this connection by Funk, in his little book, as late as the 
years 1806 and 1807. Next in order followed Abraham 
Wismer, Abraham Overholt and Daniel Landis ; the 
latter was a mason by trade and a good preacher ; he was 
still living in the early part of the present century. Then 
followed Christian Gross and Abraham Kulp, who were 
ordained at the same time. The next were Abraham 
Myers, Isaac Moyer, Samuel Godshall and John Gross. 

Mr. Samuel Nash says : " The deacons since my 
recollection were my grandfather, Henry Moyer, who 
died in 1832, in the eighty-fourth year of his age; my 
grandfather, Joseph Nash, who died in 1830, in the 
seventy-ninth year of his age ; Abraham Fretz, Abraham 
Wismer, Samuel Shelly, Jacob Overholzer and Abraham 

Shelly was ordained in Milford and afterward removed 
to Bedminster. 

The following is a copy of a letter written by the 
above-named Bishop, Jacob Gross, to his congregation a 
short time previous to his death : 

" My last sincere words to the Church, whom I must 
now leave, among whom I, as an unworthy servant, 
preached the word, especially the churches at Deep 
Run, Perkasie and New Britain. Brethren and sisters 
and others : I embrace you in the arms of love, pre- 
cious, blood-bought souls ; I regret that I must leave you 
under the circumstances of which the Lord spake ; and 


because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall 
wax cold, but he that shall endure to the end shall be 
saved, Matt. 24: 12. O love! O indispensable love 
to God and His Word, how little room findest thou in 
the human heart towards Thee and Thy Word, towards 
friend and foe ! O love of the world! O lust of the eye, 
and lust of the flesh ! O pride of life, how high hast 
thou risen up ! But farewell ! This is my last admoni- 
tion to you, written with my dying hand, therefore, re- 
pent ; come diligently to the public meeting and hear 
the Word of God ; love your teachers and ministers, so 
shall both they and you be strengthened, and if s not, the 
candlestick shall be taken away altogether. No more. 
Any brother who is able to read so that he may be 
understood by all, may read this before the Church, as it 
is of interest to all of them. 

Jacob Gross. 
December 7th, 18 10." 

Abraham Godshall, father of Samuel Godshall, already 
mentioned in this article, has also been a prominent 
minister for many years. He was the author of a small 
work of about one hundred pages, entitled " A Descrip- 
tion of the New Creature, from its birth until grown up 
unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of 
the fullness of CHRIST, with its necessity, ORIGIN, 
growth, and final glorious and happy state, through 
JESUS CHRIST." This book was originally written in 
the German language and printed at Doylestown, in 
1838, by Joseph Young; a German copy is in possession 
of the author of this work. 

Afterwards it was translated by its author into Eng- 
lish. It bears date 1838, and was printed by William 


Large, at Doylestown. He was a farmer by occupation, 
as he himself states in the preface of the book, but was, at 
a pretty early age, called to the ministry of the Gospel, 
and though not possessing the advantages even of a 
common school education, he was a zealous and effective 
laborer in the vineyard of the Lord, possessing a good 
command of language, an extensive knowledge of Scrip- 
ture, and maintained sound and well-defined theological 
views. He also left, as a rich legacy to his children, 
numerous productions, both poetical and in prose, which 
have never been published. 

By a clause in the Allen deed, it was provided that if 
at any time the Society should be without organization 
and not hold regular services for a period of five years, 
the land granted was to revert to the heirs of the donor, 
but if a minister would again be ordained, according to 
the creed of the Mennonites and officiated at the church, 
the title to the real estate was to reinvest in the Society. 
We believe continued services have been maintained 
there since the first house was built, in 1746. 

On the pulpit is a German Bible, printed at German- 
town, Pa., by Christopher Saur, in 1743, with heavy 
back and brass clasps, and beside it are two hymn 
books also in German, which bear the imprint of 1803. 


About a mile west of Doylestown is an old-fashioned 
stone Mennonite meeting-house, built many years ago, 
and among the ministers who have officiated there we 
find the names : Kephart, Jacob Kolb, Abraham God- 
shall, John Gross, Isaac Godshall, Jacob Hiestand and 
Isaac Rickert, and Samuel Gross, the present minister. 

This is the old church edifice standing in middle Bucks 
County. In the graveyard connected with this church 
lies buried David Evans, the first and only Universalist 
minister in Bucks County. He had gathered a small 
congregation of that denomination in New Britain Town- 
ship, to which he preached until his death, in 1824, in 
his eighty-sixth year. 



In 1752 a lot of about one acre was bought of James 
McCalister, in the northwest corner of New Britain 
Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, on which a log 
meeting-house was erected. The lot was afterwards en- 
larged to between three and four acres. The first deed 
was made in trust to one Roar and Christian Swartz, of 
New Britain, and Henry Shooter and John Rosenberger, 
of Hatfield. When the log house was too small for the 
growing congregation, it was torn down and a stone one 
erected in its place. This was again enlarged in 1808, 
and in 1868 it was torn down again and a new house 
erected, 45 by 60 feet, built of stone. Services were held 
in the German language until 1887, when the congrega- 
tion decided to hold English services in connection with 
the German. New Britain was one of the first town- 
ships of Bucks County in which the Mennonites settled. 

The Lexington congregation is one of the oldest 
in the County. Pastor John Geil, son of Jacob Geil, 
who emigrated from Alsace, near the Rhine, at the 
age of eight years, and settled in Plumstead Township, 
Bucks County, was one of the ablest ministers of this 
congregation. He was called to the ministry in 18 10 or 
181 1, and preached until 1852 ; he died in 1866, in his 
eighty-eighth year. The congregation is flourishing. Since 
it has been decided to hold English services there seems 
to be a greater interest manifested, and quite a number 
have presented themselves for church membership. 

In 1796 David Ruth is mentioned as a minister and 
Bishop, and in 1784 Marks Fretz as deacon. 


Historical Sketches of the Swamp 
Mennonite Church. 

The Swamp Mennonite Church, in Milford Township, 
Bucks County, Pa., was one of the earliest organized 
churches of this persuasion in our county. German Men- 
nonites from the Palatinate were among the first settlers 
of this section of the county. Among the list of names 
of early settlers we find the names Clymer or Clemmer, 
Shelly, Musselman, Brecht, Hiestand, Yoder and many 
others, whose descendants are still in part living in this 
section, and almost invariably belong to the Mennonite 
Church. In what year a church organization was formed 
cannot now be accurately ascertained. History has it, 
however, that as early as 1727 Mennonites held their 
first regular church meetings,* and we may infer from 
this that the organization of a congregation was effected 
about that time. The first meeting-house is reported to 
have been erected in the year 1735, on land now owned 
by Christian Musselman. If this date is correct (of 
which I have my doubts) the first Mennonite church 
building was erected on the land of William Allen, an 
English landholder, who was not a member of the Men- 
nonite Church. 

In the year 1743 Jacob Musselman came over from 
Germany and purchased a tract of land from William 

* Velty Clemmer is mentioned as a minister in Great Swamp in the year 



Allen, to which tract the plot whereon this first church 
building was erected belonged. As this Jacob Mussel- 
man was either a Mennonite preacher when he emi- 
grated, or was soon after called to that office, it is more 
than probable that the first meeting-house was erected 
on his land, and hence not before the year 1743. This, 
however, is mere conjecture, as William Allen may, for 
some cause, have given his Mennonite friends the 
privilege to build on his land before his disposal of it. 

It appears that no burial ground was even connected 
with this first church building, and that the dead were 
buried at this early date in the graveyard now belong- 
ing to the East Swamp Church, about a mile to the 
east from where the first church building stood. 

About the year 1771 another church building was 
erected on the site where the present East Swamp Church 
stands, upon a lot of ninety-one perches of land, con- 
veyed for this purpose by Ulrich Drissel, Abraham 
Taylor and John Ledrach, by an indenture bearing date 
June 15th, 1 77 1, to Valentine Clemmer, Peter Saeger, 
Christian Bieler and Jacob Clemmer, " trustees of the 
religious society or congregation of Mennonites in the 
great swamp." Other tracts were added to this original 
lot by indentures made August 17th, 181 8; April 3d, 
1848; April 13th, 1850, and February 18th, 1867. 
After the completion of this new house of worship, 
services were held in both meeting-houses alternately. 
After some time the new house of worship was destroyed 
by fire ; in what year this occurred cannot now be ascer- 
tained. A substantial log house was then erected in its 
stead, which served the double purpose of school-house 
and meeting-house at the same time, which, no doubt, 


had been the case with the former building, as well as 
with most of the church buildings of that early day — 
one portion being partitioned off for school purposes in 
such a manner that the whole could be thrown open 
for church purposes if needed. In later years no school 
was held in this building, but it was used as a meet- 
ing-house until 1850, when a large and substantial brick 
church was erected on its site. 

By an indenture made the 1 8th day of January, 1 790, 
Michael Musselman, son of the above named Jacob 
Musselman, and owner of the land formerly belonging 
to his father, and who, like his father, was a minister 
in this congregation, with Margaret his wife, conveyed 
to Peter Zetty, Christian Hunsberger and Michael Shelly, 
" now the elders or overseers of the Mennonite congre- 
tion," a tract of eighty perches of land " for a church and 
graveyard." To this lot, the site of the present West 
Swamp Church, the original meeting-house was removed, 
and services held therein as before until 18 19, when a 
more commodious stone building was erected, which 
also served the double purpose of meeting and school- 
house until 1839, when a separate school-house was built 
and the church building was used for church purposes 
only. A new and much larger church was erected in 
1873, in order to better accommodate the increased 
number of worshipers and the demands of the Sunday- 

Who the first ministers of this congregation were is 
not now fully known. Tradition informs us, however, 
that Felty (Valentine) Clemmer, who came to this 
country in 17 17, and who was a minister and Bishop of 
the Mennonite Church prior to his coming over, min- 


istered in this congregation. Whether he was a resident 
minister here, or whether he merely came here to preach 
and administer the Sacrament, the writer does not know ; 
at all events, it seems certain that if he was not the first 
minister, which, however, it seems probable he was, he 
must have been among the first and was the first to have 
the oversight of this flock and to administer baptism and 
serve communion for them. The above Jacob Mussel- 
man was also one of the most early ministers. Among 
those that followed were his son, Michael, and grandson, 
Samuel, who was called to the ministry and died Sep- 
tember, 1 847, at the advanced age of eighty-seven years. 
The other ministers serving this flock from time to time, 
partly simultaneously, were Jacob Nold, Christian Bliem, 
Christian Zetty, Jacob Hiestand, John H. Oberholzer, 
William N. Shelly, Levi O. Shimmel and Andrew B. 
Shelly, the present pastor. 

John H. Oberholzer was elected to the ministry in 
1842. He being a man of more than ordinary intel- 
ligence and of a progressive mind, his ideas were in ad- 
vance of some of his fellow-ministers at the time ; his 
more liberal views in regard to dress, and his advocating 
a more systematic church organization, gave cause to a 
schism, not only in this congregation, but throughout 
the congregations connected with the " Franconia Con- 
ference," to which this congregation belonged. Ober- 
holzer, with a number of other ministers and deacons 
siding with him, were, in October, 1847, declared sus- 
pended from Conference. This gave rise to the organi- 
zation of the so-called " New School Mennonite Con- 
ference " by the following : John Hunsicker, Israel 
Beidler, John H. Oberholzer, Abraham Hunsicker and 


Christian Clemmer, Bishop ; William Landis, Joseph 
Schantz, William Shelly, Moses Gottshall and Henry 
G. Johnson, ministers ; and John Detweiler, William 
Gottshall, Henry B. Shelly, Daniel Geisinger, Samuel 
Moyer, Peter Young, John Latshaw, Samuel Kaufman, 
John Bauman, Jacob Benner, Nathan Pennypacker, David 
Taylor and Abraham Grater, deacons. This Conference 
was organized. October 28th, 1847. The Swamp Church, 
of which Oberholzer was the principal minister at the 
time, adhered to him and connected itself with the new 
Conference. A small portion of the members, however, 
who were dissatisfied with Oberholzer, left the church, 
and in 1847, before Oberholzer's suspension from Con- 
ference and the organization of the new Conference, 
erected a church building and organized a church of 
their own. This church remained true to the old Con- 
ference, and forms the " Old Mennonite Swamp Congre- 
gation " of the present day. The persons regularly 
ministering to this church, up to the present date, were : 
Jacob Beidler, now deceased, and his son, John A. 
Beidler, the present pastor, together with Abraham 

The old churches constituted one and the same con- 
gregation, holding its services alternately in both church 
buildings for a long while. In the course of time, how- 
ever, the eastern and western divisions, as they were 
designated, became more and more separated, until some 
years ago separate church organizations were formed, and 
the one was called the East Swamp and the other the 
West Swamp Mennonite Church. They, together with 
the Flatland Church in Richland, constituted the Swamp 
charge of the same ministers, to which the Saucon 


Church, near Coopersburg, was later added. The Flat- 
land Church is a comparatively new one, it having been 
organized in 1837 by members formerly belonging either 
to the Springfield, or the Swamp churches. The mem- 
bership is still very limited, and services are held there 
regularly every two weeks in the afternoon by the pastor 
of the Swamp charge. 

The Swamp churches were among the first to intro- 
duce the Sunday-school work. J. H. Oberholzer, at 
an early date of his ministry, had general catechetical 
instructions for the young people introduced. These 
meetings were attended by the young people generally 
for a number of years, and were blessed with a visible 
good effect to many of those who attended them. Later, 
however, these catechetical meetings were for some cause 
discontinued, and for several years no special meetings 
for the young were held, until in the Spring of 1857 a 
Sunday-school was organized in the West Swamp Church, 
with A. B. Shelly as Superintendent. About the same 
time, or soon after, a Sunday-school was also established 
in the Eastern Church. These were the first Mennonite 
Sunday-schools in existence; they have both been main- 
' tained up to the present day. At first they w r ere only 
held during the Summer months, but for a number of 
years they have now been kept open the year round. 
They are both in a good and flourishing condition, the 
West Swamp school under the superintendency of U. S. 
StaufTer, and the East Swamp of A. S. Shelly. 

Services have been held in the West Swamp Church 
every Sunday since the Spring of 1872. The East 
Swamp Church has services every other Sunday. The 
West Swamp congregation numbers upwards of two 


hundred, the East Swamp about one hundred, and the 
Flatland Church about twenty-five communicant mem- 
bers. A. B. Shelley, who was called to the ministry 
in 1864, is at present the principal minister of these 
churches. Father Oberholzer, now almost eighty years 
old, also assists in ministering to these flocks. 
Milford Square, April 9th, 1887. 

Springfield and Saucon. 

The present Mennonite meeting-house in Springfield 
Township, Bucks County, was built about sixty years 
ago, or about the year 1826, and is the second house; 
but in what year the first house was built my informant 
could not tell, but might have been about the year 1775, 
because on September 10th, 1753, George Schimmel, one 
of the first Mennonites in Springfield, came to Pennsyl- 
vania and settled there ; others of the same denomination 
soon followed, so that it is presumable that the first meet- 
ing-house might have been built about the year 1775, 
probably earlier. Previous to the building of the first 
meeting-house they worshiped in private houses. 

According to accounts extant it appears that Saucon 
is the oldest place, and an organization was effected and 
a meeting-house was built previous to that in Springfield, 
but the two congregations were united at that time. The 
first members in Saucon were Moyer, Gehman, Funk, 
Schleifer, etc. The names of the ministers were Jacob 
Moyer, Samuel Moyer, Michael Landis, Valentine Young 
and William Landis. The names of the ministers in 
Springfield were Peter Moyer, Jacob Gehman, Peter 
Moyer, Jr., Jacob Moyer, Abraham Geissinger; the latter 
was ordained in 1836. 

In 1847 a separation took place. The minister of the 
New School Mennonites in Saucon was Samuel Moyer. 



In Springfield, John Geissinger was ordained in 1849 and 
Samuel Moyer in 185 1. Their deacons were John Schim- 
mel, Elam Schimmel and Peter Moyer. Jacob Moyer 
and Abraham Geissinger remained with the Old School 
Mennonites as their ministers. The deacons in Spring- 
field were: T. Schleifer, Abraham Oberholzer, Daniel 
Geissinger and Jacob Kolb. 

The New School Mennonite congregation at present 
counts about eighty members. Its present pastor is 
Jacob S. Moyer; deacon, Peter A. Moyer. The Old 
School counts about twenty members and holds meetings 
every two weeks, but has no stated minister. In Saucon 
there are only a few families of the Old School Menno- 
nites remaining; they hold service only occasionally. 
Those few generally come over to Springfield meeting. 


Deep Run, 

A Brief Sketch of the Incorporated Mennonite 
Church at Deep Run (New School), in Bed- 
minster, Bucks County, Pa. 

The division of 1847, which affected a number of con- 
gregations in Eastern Pennsylvania, also affected the time- 
honored and flourishing Deep Run congregation. 

Members of more progressive views and siding with 
the progressive party, of which John H. Oberholzer, pastor 
of the Swamp congregation at that time, was a leading 
member, as already shown in the article of the Swamp 
congregation, then met and framed a constitution as a 
basis of a new organization, and on May 15th, 1848, 
applied to the court of Bucks County for a charter of in- 
corporation, which was granted on April 25th, 1849, an( ^ 
recorded in Book No. 10, p. 465, May 4th, 1849. 

On June 16th, 1849, tne members of the new corpora- 
tion met at the house of Isaac Fretz, in Tinicum Town- 
ship, Bucks County, and agreed to build a new meeting- 
house, and to purchase a lot of ground near the old 
meeting-house for that purpose. A lot of ground was 
accordingly bought, and a substantial brick meeting- 
house was built the same year, and services were held 
weekly by ministers from other churches of the same 
organization until 1883, when Allen M. Fretz was or- 


DEEP RUN. 259 

dained as their pastor. The congregation now has a 
membership of about one hundred and fifty, and also a 
flourishing Sunday-school, open nine months in the year. 
This congregation is also connected with the so-called 
General Conference of Mennonites of North America. 

This congregation also takes an active part in the Mis- 
sion cause, both home and foreign. 


As early as 1728 it is known that two brothers by the 
name of Bechtel, "both Mennonites," were among the 
settlers of Hereford Township, now part of Washington. 
These with others settled in Montgomery and Lehigh 
Counties, and were on very friendly terms with Father 
Theodore Schneider, the Jesuit Missionary. They co- 
operated with him in building the first Catholic Church 
in 1743, and as a compensation to them for their assist- 
ance, an acre of land was granted to the Mennonites out 
of the tract belonging to his society (Father Schneider's). 
The deed of this tract bears date of 1755, but it is not 
known how soon after that the low wooden meeting- 
house was built which still stands; but in 1790 an ad- 
dition was built to it, which was used as a school-room. 
To this tract, two additional tracts have been bought, so 
that it now contains three acres. 

It is traditionally reported that all that section of 
country where the Hereford meeting-house stands for- 
merly belonged to a Mennonite, who was, for some cause, 
expelled from the congregation. He then threatened to 
be revenged, and vowed he would plant them a thorn 
bush. He then sold the land to Theodore Schneider, 
the Jesuit, and on that very land the Catholic church in 
Hereford was built. It is also asserted that a small frame 
house was there prior to the present old house. The 



congregation obtained from Schneider the lot mentioned 
above and got the title as above mentioned, dated 1755. 
The above may be substantiated by the fact that Daniel 
Longenaker and Jacob Beghtly were the ministers there 
as early as 1727, and attended a conference and signed 
their proceedings. 

It is claimed that a minister by the name of Bechtel 
has always been connected with this congregation. The 
present ministers (August, 1887) are John B. Bechtel, 
Andrew Mack and John M. Esht. 


The Boyertown congregation was from the commence- 
ment of its organization and is yet a branch of the Here- 
ford congregation. About the year 1730 a number of 
Mennonites settled in Colebrookdale Township, Berks 
County, Pennsylvania, in the vicinity of the present 
Boyertown, about six miles west of Hereford. 

In the year 1790 a Mennonite named Heinrich Stauf- 
fer gave one acre of ground for a burying-ground and to 
build a school-house thereon for school purposes, and 
also for divine worship ; later, when the house was no 
longer needed for a school-house and was too small for 
a meeting-house, the congregation built a new brick 
meeting-house in the year 18 19, in which service was 
held once in four weeks until the year 1876, when the 
house was torn down again for the purpose of building a 
new one, which was, however, through unforeseen cir- 
cumstances, delayed until about the year 1882 or '83, 
when the house was built. 

The ministers in Hereford also had charge of the 
Boyertown congregation. Their names as far as known 
were George B. Bechtel, Bishop, who died in 1754 ; 
afterwards his son Johannes Bechtel, also a Bishop, who 
died in 1795 ; then Johannes Boyer, also a Bishop, after- 
ward moved to " Harmonie " in the year 18 16; then 
Abraham Bechtel, who died in 18 15, and Heinrich Funk, 



who died in 1826; then Johannes C. Bechtel, Bishop, 
who died in 1843 ; then Johannes Gehman, who died in 

The ministers now living (February, 1888,) are Jo- 
hannes B. Bechtel, Andrew Mack, Bishop, and Johannes 

I also find that the following-named ministers were 
present at a Conference held in 1727, which was, as far as 
known, the first Mennonite Conference held in America : 

Great Swamp — Velte Clemer. 

Manatant — Daniel Langenecker and Jacob Beghtly. 
— Author. 

Mennonite Congregation in Upper Mil- 
ford, Lehigh County. 

A Short Historical Sketch. 

By Samuel Stauffer. 

The first Mennonite congregation in Upper Milford, 
Lehigh County, was founded and organized as near as 
can be ascertained between the years 1735 and 1760. 
The founders of this congreo-ation were: Ulrich Basler, 
Heinrich Schleifer, Johannes Schwartz, Conrad Stamm, 
David Jansen, Benjamin Meyer, Abraham Funk, Hein- 
rich Funk, Johannes Mayer, Samuel Mayer, Conrad 
Mayer, Michael Mayer, Johannes Gehman, George Weisz, 
Kilian Weisz, Rudolph Weisz, Jacob Weisz, Jacob Hie- 
stand, Abraham Hiestand, Daniel Greber and others. 

At what time the first meeting-house was erected is not 
definitely known. The land on which the first meeting- 
house was built, together with the graveyard, included 
one-half acre, which was cut out of a one hundred and 
four acre tract of land, which, according to records yet 
extant, and dated October 3d, 1740, was sold to Heinrich 
Noll. He afterwards conveyed said tract to Heinrich 
Schleifer, November 16th, 1745, who afterwards conveyed 
to Johannes Schantz and Benjamin Mayer in trust for-the 
congregation, the above-mentioned half acre, dated Feb- 



ruary ioth, 1772. Later the congregation bought three 
Small tracts of ground in addition to the above, so that 
the whole lot now contains two and one-half acres of 
ground. It is said that the above-mentioned tract of 
ground had been used for a burying-ground many years 

It is asserted that the first meeting-house was a log- 
house and was used for church and school purposes until 
1 8 16, when a new building was erected of stone, which 
was divided in two parts — one for worship and the other 
for school purposes. In the year 1843 tne house was 
repaired, the walls built higher, new roof, floor, windows 
and pews added. Again, in the year 1876, the congre- 
gation agreed to build a new and more comfortable house, 
and built one of brick, at a cost of $7,000. 

It is said that the Mennonite- congregation in Upper 
Milford, Lehigh County, is one of the oldest Christian 
churches in that vicinity. It is not positively known 
who the first minister of this congregation was. It is 
traditionally reported that a man by the name of Hulz- 
hauser was the first minister of this congregation. The 
first one positively known to have been a minister of this 
congregation was Hannes Gehman, who served for many 
years. He was born February 12th, 1741 ; died Decem- 
ber 23d, 1806. After his death his son, John Gehman, 
born March 22d, 1771, was ordained to the ministry of 
this congregation and served thirty-five years; died July 
31st, 1848. About the year 1828 John Schantz was 
ordained to the ministry. He was born December 19th, 
1774; he served about twenty-seven years, and died Jan- 
uary 8th, 1855. In the year 1844 his son, Joseph 
Schantz, was ordained as a minister; he served about 


thirty -seven years and died June 23d, 1881, in his sixty- 
seventh year. 

In October, 1849, William Gehman was called to the 
ministry, but on account of differences of opinion he, with 
a portion of the members, separated themselves from the 
congregation and formed a congregation of their own, 
and called themselves Evangelical Mennonites, afterward 
Mennonite Brethren in Christ. 

In the year 1874 a young man by the name of Uriah 
S. Schelly was ordained as a minister of the Upper Mil- 
ford congregation. He served several years faithfully 
and with energy, but on account of his health failing he 
was compelled to resign as their minister and withdrew 
from the ministry. 

After the death of Joseph Schantz the congregation 
chose as their pastor Carl H. A. van der Smissen, who 
was born in the Kingdom of Prussia, Europe, who is at 
the present time (October, 1886) their minister and 

Philadelphia (New School) 

The first Mennonite Church of Philadelphia was or- 
ganized with thirty members on the 27th day of October, 
1865, in a public hall which stood where Liberty Council 
Hall now stands, on Germantown Avenue below Norris 
Street In January, 1 866, a chapel located on Diamond 
and Managan Streets, the property of the " Church of 
God," was bought, and the congregation fully organized, 
with Pastor Moses H. Godshall, of Schwenksville, as 
Bishop, and David Taylor (formerly Schneider), deacon. 

In the Spring of 1868 a call was given Pastor Samuel 
Clemmer, then assistant minister in Herford District, who 
accepted and entered upon his duties on April 5th, 1868. 
The pastorate of Bro. Clemmer was crowned with suc- 
cess; but in less than two years the Lord saw fit to call 
him to his eternal home. Pastor A. B. Shelly, of Milford 
Square, then took charge of the congregation, either 
preaching himself or providing for their services. 

In 1872 Pastor L. O. Schimmel was called from East 
Swamp Congregation, who accepted and entered upon 
his duties March 10th, 1872, and continued for one year. 
Albert E. Funk, having just returned from the Seminary 
at Wadsworth, Ohio, was then chosen and ordained into 
the ministry and continued until June, 1882, when he re- 
signed. During the last year of the ministration of Pastor 
A. E. Funk a new brick church building was erected at 



a cost of $9,000. Pastor N. B. Grubb, assistant minister 
in the Schvvenksville District, was next called and entered 
upon his duties October 1st, 1882. Under the ministra- 
tion of Pastor N. B. Grubb the congregation became an 
independent bishopric and the pastor was accordingly 
ordained Bishop in May, 1884. The church is at pres- 
ent (February, 1887) in a prosperous condition. 

The address of the present pastor, N. B. Grubb, is 
2136 Franklin Street, Philadelphia. 

Chester Couniy, Pa. 

The Mennonite Church is one of the early churches 
of Chester County. Between the years 1725 and 1785 
three Mennonite churches had been built on the Schuyl- 
kill, as appears from the name-list of the preachers, pub- 
lished at Amsterdam* in the last-named year. These 
must have been in Chester County, as the Montgomery 
County churches are included in other districts. Prob- 
ably the most ancient of these is the one on the Schuyl- 
kill Road, in East Coventry Township, about three miles 
below Pottstown. The date 1728 on the wall shows 
that the building is now (1887) one hundred and fifty-nine 
years old. The building is one story high and is very 
small. It is accessible from the main road by a drive, on 
each side of which is a graveyard ; the one on the south 
side of the- drive was laid out but a few years ago, but 
the one on the north side contains graves one hundred 
and sixty years old. 

The first Mennonite church in the vicinity of Phcenix- 
ville was located on the Ridge, near the residence of the 
Heckel family, now in Vincent Township. Abraham 
Haldeman was their minister and Bishop for many years ; 

* The Mennonite preachers in this section in 1785, as given in Amster- 
dam name-list before referred to, were Martin Bechtel, Johannes Longe- 
neaker and Joseph Showalter. 



he afterwards moved to Juniata County, Pa., where he 
died. Jacob Hunsberger and John Funk are the present 
ministers. The date of its erection I was not able to 
ascertain. S. W. Penny-packer, Esq., of Philadelphia, 
says there was another in the valley where Israel Beidler 
used to preach. In 1772 was erected the Mennonite 
meeting-house in Phcenixville. It was located on Main 
Street, near Nutt's Road, and since has been known suc- 
cessively as Buckwalter's and Morgan's school-house. 
It was designed by its founders both as a church and 
school building, and was used as such for many years. 
Among the original settlers of Phcenixville the Buck- 
waiters were all of this faith. In 1794 they erected a 
meeting-house at the southwest corner of Main and 
Church Streets in Phcenixville, which is the oldest 
place of worship now standing in the township. The 
first preacher was Matthias Pennypacker, who for five 
years previous had charge of the congregation at Buck- 
waiter's school-house. Upon his death he was succeeded 
respectively by John Buckwalter, Daniel Showalter, 
George Hellerman and Jacob Haldeman, Jesse Beidler, 
Joseph Haldeman, John Showalter and Israel Beidler. 

The ministers at the present time are David Buck- 
waiter, Jacob Hunsberger and Jacob Funk ; deacons, 
John Latshaw and Jonathan Kolb. 

Cumberland County, Pa. 

The Mennonites commenced to settle in Cumberland 
County about 1800. Few, if any, lived in this county 
prior to this date. At first they were few in number ; 
they held meetings in their dwelling-houses. Their first 
meeting-house was built about 181 5, in the eastern sec- 
tion of the county. This house was torn down and a 
larger one built in 1876, called the Slate Hill Church, 
with about ninety communicant members. 

Another meeting-house was built about three miles 
east of Carlisle, about the year 1838, with a small mem- 
bership at the time in that neighborhood. 

In the year 1885 a comfortable meeting-house was 
built in Churchtown, with a membership of about forty. 

There is another congregation west of Boiling Springs 
with a small membership. 

Another congregation is organized near Newville with 
a membership of about forty. Also a small organization 
seven miles south of Newville. 

It is said that the first resident minister in Cumberland 

County was Hauser, the next Westhaser, 

then Henry Rupp, ordained about 181 5, then Henry 
Martin, then George Rupp, a son of Henry, ordained 
about 1830, David Martin a few years later. Samuel 
Zimmerman was ordained about the year 1865 and Jacob 
Mumma in 1877; Samuel Hess in 1883, and Benjamin 



Zimmerman in 1887. All the above-named ministers 
were members of the Slate Hill Church. 

In the church east of Carlisle the first resident minister 
was John Erb ; the next was Christian Herr, who died 
about the year 1863. His son, Jacob, was ordained soon 
after, who also preached in the Boiling Springs church. 
Henry Weaver was ordained in 1865, in Boiling Springs 

The ministers at Newville are Burkard, 

Burkholder and Martin Wissler, who afterwards moved 
to Hanover, York County, in 1884. 

Slate Hill, Cumberland County, Pa. 
December 13th, 1887. 

Northampton County Mennonites. 

A Brief Sketch of the Mennonite Meeting-house and 

Congregation, situated in Allen Township, 

Northampton County, Pa., on the 

Road leading from Bethlehem 

to Kreidersville. 

The last of the year 1798 had hardly passed into his- 
tory before the question concerning the advisability and 
practicability confronted the brethren of the Mennonite 
congregation around Siegfried's Bridge and vicinity, to 
select a suitable location, somewhat central, to erect a 
meeting-house to the honor and glory of God. This 
location was secured from Thomas Horner, in Allen 
Township, Northampton County, Pa., consisting of half 
an acre of ground, for the sum of twenty dollars. The 
committee appointed to purchase said lot were Jacob 
Baer, Jacob Heston, John Ziegler and Samuel Landis. 
At a congregational meeting called by the brethren, the 
following brethren were elected as a building committee, 
viz. : John Ziegler and Samuel Funk. The lot was pur- 
chased and the deed made in 1802, and the house was 
built the same year. 

The congregation passed the following resolution as 
one of their first acts, viz. : 

" The object shall be a meeting, or house of worship, 
18 (273) 


for all such who believe in and love our blessed Lord and 
Saviour Jesus Christ sincerely, and are willing to be 
guided and led by the precepts of the Gospel through 
those who are entrusted with the Divine mystery to pro- 
claim the glad tidings of good news. And as the Apostle 
Peter did declare : Of a truth I perceive that God is no 
respector of persons ; but among all nations, he that 
feareth Him and worketh righteousness, is accepted by 
Him. All those who belong unto Him must walk together 
in the unity of the Spirit and love. For without love or 
peace it is impossible to please God. . Without Divine aid 
it is impossible to build a house of God. Except the 
Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it 
But if it is erected in meekness and humility unto the 
Lord, then the Lord will hear in His time." 

In the above spirit the brethren of those days went to 
work, in good faith and will, and secured their object. 
They had imbibed the good old German custom, from 
house to school, from school to church, from church to 
heaven. Consequently they also made provision for the 
young to be taught in the parochial school, which they 
incorporated in the deed of the property. Thus school 
had been taught in this building for a number of years, 
till the present system of common schools has super- 
seded the old custom. 

In reference to its membership there is no record ex- 
tant, but from what can be gathered there must have 
been at one time a membership of from sixty to one hun- 
dred members. Of its organization there is nothing to 
be found, save what a few survivors still remember who 
had been members at this place. The following ministers 
officiated here from time to time; Valentine Young, 


Samuel Musselman, Christian Bliem, John Bechtel, Wil- 
liam Gehman, John Oberholzer, Christian Clemmer, 
David Henning, William Shelly, Henry Diehl, Jonas 
Musselman and Samuel Moyer, until about twenty years 
ago, when the number was reduced considerably. Still, 
there were some of the descendants who loved the old 
place, and through their influence preaching has been 
kept up by the following brethren : Samuel Landis, Lewis 
Taylor and Jonas Y. Schultz, who still have stated ser- 
vices every four weeks. 

In August, 1884, steps were taken to raise funds to 
defray the expense of having the meeting-house and grave- 
yard thoroughly renovated and put in good repair, which 
was accomplished, and of a truth it may be said that the 
latter place of worship by far exceeds the former. The 
graveyard must have been established at an early date. 
We find the date on tombstones of the year 1805, 18 19, 
also of 1802; we find the names on the tombstones as 
follows: Bliem, Bechtel, Funk, Gerhard, Hiestand, Baer, 
Landes, Latshaw, Swartz, Young, Ziegler.* 

June 13th, 1887. 

* Since the above was put in type it has been discovered that several 
errors occurred on the part of my informant. 

I have since learned that a plan or draft exists yet, which shows that a 
meeting-house was there prior to 176 1. It is traditionally reported that 
their meetings had frequently been disturbed by Indians. 

I also find that a deed was given for one acre of land dated March 10th, 
1770, for the use of the Mennonites for all times. In 1829, part of the land 
was sold and the proceeds used to renovate the meeting-house and build a 
stone wall around the graveyard. The right to sell was granted upon the 
instance of a petition by Jacob Funk and others, dated February 6th, 1828 
and the Act was passed January 29th, 1 829, and signed by the Governor, 
J. A. Schulze. 



Minister David Henning of the above place died July 
2d, 1 88 1, from injuries received about six weeks before. 
Deceased had been preaching in Bucks County, and on 
his way home was thrown against the seat of a car 
while getting on the train at Bethlehem ; he was injured 
internally and had been confined to his bed most of the 
time since the accident. Father Henning was respected 
by the whole community, and his death, which was quiet 
and peaceful, was in keeping with his life. He was 
seventy-five years of age and had been engaged in 
preaching for the past twenty-five years ; he was the last 
of the Mennonites in this vicinity. This section was 
originally settled by the Mennonites,- which fifty years 
ago was a large and flourishing congregation and owned 
the church property which recently passed into the hands 
of the Lutherans. Death and removals to other parts of 
the country gradually reduced the number of the Men- 
nonites, until Father Henning was the sole remaining 

He was buried July 6th, 1881, in the old cemetery 
back of the church, which has been used by the Menno- 
nites as a burying-ground for the past century. The 
funeral services were conducted by a Mennonite minister, 
William Gehman, of Bucks County, B. F. Apple, Lutheran 
and James M. Salmon, Presbyterian.* 

* For the above information I am greatly indebted to W. R. Grubb, pro- 
prietor of the Bangor Observer. 

York County, Pa. 

Strickler's and Witmer's.— Ministers, David Witmer 
and Joseph Forry ; deacon, Michael Strickler. 

Grallstown, Hershey's, Bare's, Codorus, Gerber's. — 
ministers, S. L. Roth, Jacob Hershey, Isaac Kauffman ; 
deacon, Andrew Hershey. 

Bare's, Hanover, Hanover, Hostetter's and Zimmer- 
man's in Maryland. — Ministers, Samuel Moyer, Martin 
Whisler and Jacob Hostetter ; deacons, Samuel Groff and 
Samuel Forry. 

Meeting-Houses in Juniata County, Pa. 

The first meeting-house was built about the year 1800, 
of log, and in 1868 a new house was built of brick in its 
place, about one and a half mile west of Richfield. 

The next house was built in 1 8 19, called the Lost 
Creek meeting-house, and was rebuilt in 1869. 

Another meeting-house was built a half mile north of 
Richfield, in Snyder County, in 1854, called Graybill's. 

Another was built in 1867 called Lauver's, and an- 
other in 1872 called the Delaware meeting-house. 

Thomas Graybill, Solomon Graybill and William 
Bergey, ministers ; these three withdrew from the Old 
Mennonite Church in 1884. 


Lebanon County, Pa. 

Gingerich's Congregation. — Bishop, Isaac Gingerich; 
Cyrus Witmoyer, minister, and D. Westenberger, deacon. 

Dormer's, Light's and Krall's Congregations. — Min- 
ister, Jacob Wenger ; deacon, Christian Krall. 

Snyder, Juniata and Perry Counties, Pa. 

John Graybill moved from Lancaster County to 
Snyder County, one-half mile north of Richfield, about 
the year 1774. This was the first Mennonite family in 
this district. His son, John, was the first minister and 
Bishop, Abraham Witmer was the next Bishop. Michael 
Funk was a minister in Juniata County ; Jacob Brubaker 
Bishop in Snyder County ; Isaac Gilmer was a minister 
in Juniata County; Christian Aucker minister in Juniata 
County, and Christian Graybill minister in Snyder 
County ; Henry Aucker minister in Perry County, and 
Henry Shelly a minister in Juniata County. 

Bishop Abraham Haldeman moved from Chester 
County, Pa., to Juniata in the year 1842. The ministers 
in Juniata County are Jacob Graybill, Bishop, John 
Scherk, Samuel Gehman, William Graybill ; Samuel 
Winny assistant Bishop in Snyder County, and William 
Aucker, a minister in Perry County, Jacob Kurtz minister 
in Juniata, and John Kurtz minister in Snyder County. 


Dauphin County, Pa. 

Stickler's and Schopp's.— Ministers, John Strickler 
and John Erb ; deacon, Christian Mumma. 

Stauffer's and Halifax. — Ministers, Benjamin Lehman, 
John Stauffer and John Ebersole ; deacon, John Snyder. 

Franklin County, Pa. 

THEChambersburg Congregation. — Bishop, John Hun- 
sicker; ministers, Philip H. Parret, Peter Wadel, and 
Samuel D. Lehman, deacon. 

Marion and Williamson Congregations. — Benjamin 
Lesher, Peter Wadel and Philip H. Parret, ministers, 
and Michael Hege, deacon. 

Row Congregation.— Ministers, Peter Wadel, Philip H. 
Parret ; deacon, Peter Horst. 

Strasburg Congregation. — Ministers, John Hunsicker, 
John Lehman and Samuel D. Lehman ; deacon, Samuel 
L. Horst 


Mennonite General Conference. 

By A. B. Shelly, Pastor of the Swamp Church. 

The Mennonite General Conference was organized 
May 28th, i860, at West Point, Lee County, Iowa. 
During- the days previous to the organization of the Con- 
ference a joint mission festival was held by the members 
of the West Point Church and those from Zion's Church 
in the vicinity. An invitation having been sent to 
brethren in Eastern Pennsylvania to come and assist in 
celebrating this festival, in accordance with this invitation 
the brethren J. H. Oberholzer and Enos Loux, both min- 
isters of the " New School Mennonites," went to Iowa 
and assisted in the services of the festival. Besides these 
a number of brethren from Iowa were present. 

At the close of the mission festival it was resolved to 
hold a conference of the brethren present on the follow- 
ing day, with the view of further discussing the subject 
of missions, a subject until then wholly neglected by the 
Mennonite churches of our land. Accordingly the 
brethren assembled on the day following (May 28th), 
and organized themselves into a Conference by electing 
J. H. Oberholzer, from Pennsylvania, President, and 
Christian Schowalter, from Iowa, Secretary. The Con- 
ference remained in session two days, the principal points 
discussed b'eing to devise plans for bringing in closer 



union the different divisions of the Mennonite Church 
of our land, and to carry on mission work. A remarkable 
degree of unanimity prevailed and a number of resolu- 
tions pertaining to these subjects were adopted. These 
resolutions were, by a Conference held at Wadsworth, 
Ohio, May 20th to 23d, 1 861, at which a greater number 
of congregations were represented, reconsidered, revised 
and as a basis for the " General Mennonite Conference 
of America," adopted. At this Conference it was decided, 
as soon as possible, to establish a Theological Institute 
for the education of teachers and ministers. Pastor 
Daniel Heges, from Summerfield, Illinois, was chosen to 
visit the churches throughout our land and solicit sub- 
scriptions towards the erection of said Institute. 

The third meeting of the General Conference was held 
at Summerfield, Illinois, October 19th to 24th, 1863. At 
this session the plan for the Educational Institute, as it 
was then termed, was consummated, and the erection of 
a suitable building was, during the following year, begun 
at Wadsworth, Medina County, Ohio. This building was 
dedicated the 13th and 14th of October, 1866, and a 
school was soon after opened under the principalship of 
Pastor Christian Schowalter, from Lee County, Iowa. 
Later, Pastor C. J. van der Smissen was called from 
Friedrichstadt, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, as Pro- 
fessor of Theology and Principal of the Institute, which 
for a number of years flourished, turning out a number 
of young men who occupied prominent and useful posi- 
tions in the Church. Later, the number of students 
diminished, and lacking the necessary support, the Insti- 
tute was discontinued and the building sold. 

Meanwhile the General Conference, which holds its 


sessions every three years, established missions among 
the Arapahoe and Cheyenne Indians at Darlington and 
Cantonment, Indian Territory. These missions are still 
carried on, and include two boarding and industrial 
schools for the young Indians, as well as Sunday-schools 
and religious services for the older ones. These missions 
cost the Church $4,000 to $5,000 annually. 

Besides the Indian mission work, the Conference carries 
on the home mission work Besides a number of tem- 
porary workers, it now has one permanent Home Mis- 
sionary elected for three years, whose mission is to visit 
the different churches belonging; to said Conference, as 
well as such other places and congregations as the Home 
Mission Board may find proper. The Conference also 
carries on the publication work. It has a central pub- 
lishing house at Berne, Indiana, and publishes the 
Christliche Bundcsbote, a German weekly Church paper, 
and the Kinderbote, a monthly children's paper, printed 
partly in German and partly in English. 

Since its organization churches have continually been 
added to this Conference, and it now numbers between 
thirty and forty different congregations, embracing a 
membership of nearly five thousand souls. The follow- 
ing is a list of the churches belonging to the General 
Conference : 

Pennsylvania. — Bartolett's, Bowmansville, Boyertown, 
Deep Run, Flatland, Hereford, Saucon, Schwenksville, 
Springfield, East Swamp, West Swamp, Philadelphia, 
Upper Milford. 

Ohio. — Dalton, Wadsworth. 

Indiana. — Berne. 

Illinois. — Summerfleld. 


Missouri. — Bethel, Elkton. 

Iowa. — Zion's Franklin, West Point. 

Kansas. — Alexanderwohl, Bruderthal, Christian, Em- 
mans, Canton, Gnadenberg, Halstead, Hoffnungsan, New- 
ton, Zion's. 

Dakota. — Salems. 

New York. — Clarence, Centre, Niagara. 

Canada. — Stevensville. 

Milford Square, Bucks Co., Pa. 
February nth, 1888. 

The New School Mennonite Conference for the Eastern 
District of Pennsylvania was organized October 24th, 
1847. It meets semi-annually, on first Tuesday in May 
and November, and is composed of the ministers, deacons 
and delegates representing the congregations in Bucks, 
Montgomery, Lehigh, Berks, Lancaster and Philadelphia 
Counties. — Author. 

Mennonites in Lancaster County. 

Bancroft says : " The news spread that William Penn, 
the Quaker, had opened an asylum to the good and the 
oppressed of every nation, and humanity went through 
Europe gathering the children of misfortune." Out from 
their hiding-places in the forest depths and the mountain 
valleys which the sun scarce penetrated the Men- 
nonites came, clad in their homespun dresses, their 
dialects unintelligible, their feet shod with wood, and set 
their faces toward that far-off land in which some strange 
prophecy had told them " the Mennonites would be pros- 
perous and happy." 

About the beginning of the eighteenth century the 
Holland Mennonites, whom, we have seen, had become 
rich and powerful, determined to erect an organized sys- 
tem of charity to assist their brethren in distant and 
hostile communities. This determination culminated in 
the formation of " The Committee on Foreign Needs," 
and the step was made necessary by the utter helpless- 
ness of the many refugees on the one hand and by the 
shameful impositions of the Dutch and English trading 
firms who gave them passage, on the other. It was 
under the direct supervision of this Committee that the 
greater part of the Lancaster County Mennonite immi- 
gration was made. The story of this Committee and its 

* For the following I am indebted to E. K. Martin, Esq., of Lancaster. 



extensive labors in behalf of the early colonization of 
Pennsylvania is one of the interesting chapters of our 
memory which yet remains to be written. It existed and 
pursifed its valuable labors for eighty years, and only 
ceased when persecution relaxed its rigors and extortion 
was regulated by law. 

The first authentic account we have of the Lancaster 
County settlement is that Hans Meylin, his son, Martin, 
and Hans Herr, John Rudolph Bundly, Martin Ken- 
dig, Jacob Miller, Martin Oberholtzer, Hans Funk, 
Michael Oberholtzer, Wendell Bowman and others, 
with their families, came as far as the Conestoga, in 

1709, and there selected a tract of ten thousand acres 
to the north of Pequea Creek. The warrant for this was 
recorded and the land surveyed to them October 23d, 

17 10. A very quaint account of them says the sect came 
from a German Palatinate at the invitation of William 
Penn. " The men wore long red caps on their, heads. 
The women had neither bonnets, hats nor caps, but 
merely a string passing around the head to keep the hair 
from the face. The dress both of female and male was 
domestic, quite plain, made of coarse material after an 
old fashion of their own. Soon after their arrival at 
Philadelphia they took a westerly course, in pursuit of a 
location where they could all live in one vicinity. They 
selected a rich limestone country, beautifully adorned 
with sugar maple, hickory and black and white walnut, 
on the border of a delightful stream abounding in the 
finest trout. Here they raised their humble cabins. The 
water of the Pequea was clear, cold, transparent, and the 
grape-vines and clematis intertwining among the lofty 
branches of the majestic buttonwood formed a pleasant 
retreat from the noonbeams of a Summer sun." 


Rupp, who wrote in 1844, though commonplace and 
sometimes tiresome, alone, of all the earlier chroniclers 
of their people, has put us under obligations for the 
scanty details he has preserved in an historical form of 
the early colony. " On the 23d of October the land was 
surveyed and divided among the Meylins, Herr, Kendig 
and others of the company. Having erected temporary 
shelters, some set about it and put up dwellings of more 
durableness. Martin Kendig erected one of hewed wal- 
nut logs on his tract, which withstood the storms and 
rain, the gnawings of the tooth of time, for more than 
one hundred and ten years, and might, had it not been 
removed in 1841, and its place taken up by one of more 
durable material, have withstood the corroding elements 
for generations to come. They now began to build 
houses and add new acquisitions of land to their first 
possessions. To depend upon their Indian neighbors for 
provision was useless. The Indians depended mainly 
upon game and fish. Of course, the supplies of pro- 
visions were scanty, and what they had they were under 
the necessity to transport from a distant settlement for 
some time, till the seeds sown in a fertile soil yielded 
some thirty, others sixty-fold. Fish and fowl were 
plenty in the wilds. The season of their arrival was 
favorable ; around them they saw crowned the tall hazel 
with rich festoons of luscious grapes. After they had 
been scarce fairly seated they thought of their old homes, 
their country and friends. They sighed for those whom 
they left for a season. They remembered them that were 
in bonds as bound with them and which suffered adver- 
sity, and ere the earth began to yield a return in kindly 
fruits to their labors consultations were held ancj 


measures devised to send some one over to their ' Vater- 
land ' to bring the residue of some of their families — 
also their kindred and brothers in a land of trouble and 
oppression to their new home — into a land where peace 
reigned and abundance of the comforts of life could not 
fail. They had strong faith in the fruitfulness and 
natural advantages of their choice of lands ; they knew 
these would prove to them and their children the home 
of plenty. Their anticipations have never failed. 

" A council of the whole society was called, at which 
their venerable minister and pastor, Hans Herr, presided, 
and after fraternal and free interchange of sentiment, 
much consultation and serious reflection, lots, in con- 
formity to the custom of the Mennonites, were cast to 
decide who should return to Europe for the families left 
behind and others. The lot fell upon Hans Herr, who 
had left five sons, Christian, Emanuel, John, Abraham, 
and one whose name we have not learned. This decision 
was agreeable to his own mind, but to his friends and 
charge it was unacceptable. To be separated from their 
preacher could be borne with reluctance and heaviness 
of heart only. They were all too ardently attached to 
him to cheerfully acquiesce in this determination. Re- 
luctantly they consented to his departure, after much 
anxiety manifested on account of this unexpected call of 
their pastor from them ; their sorrows were alleviated by 
a proposal made on the part of Martin Kendig that, if ap- 
proved, he would take Hans Herr's place. This was 
cordially assented to by all. Without unnecessary de- 
lay, Martin, the devoted friend of the colony, made ready, 
went to Philadelphia, and there embarked for Europe. 
After a prosperous voyage of five or six weeks he 


reached the home of his friends, where he was received 
with Apostolic greetings and salutations of joy. Having 
spent some time in preliminary arrangements, he and a 
company of Swiss and some Germans bade a lasting 
adieu to their old homes and dissolved the tender ties of 
friendship with those whom they left. With this com- 
pany, consisting of the residue of some of those in 
America, and of Peter Yordea, Jacob Miller, Hans 
Tschantz, Henry Funk, John Houser, John Bachman, 
Jacob Weber, Schlegel, Venerick, Guldin and others, he 
returned to their new home, where they were all cordially 
embraced by their fathers and friends. With this acces- 
sion the settlement was considerably augmented, and 
now numbered about thirty families. Though they lived 
in the midst of the Mingo or Conestoga, Pequea and 
Shawanese Indians they were nevertheless safely seated, 
and had nothing to fear from the Indians. They mingled 
with them in fishing and hunting. The Indians were 
hospitable and respectful to the whites and exceedingly 
civil. The little colony improved their lands, planted 
orchards, erected dwellings and a meeting and school- 
house for the settlement, in which religious instruction 
on the Sabbath, and during the week knowledge of 
letters, reading and writing were given to those who 
assembled to receive information." Other and more 
numerous groups of colonists followed these pioneers in 
171 1, 171 7, and a large settlement was made in the 
more northern parts of Lancaster County and within 
the limits of Lebanon in 1727. Very scanty, indeed, are 
the details of these early Mennonite movements, but 
scanty as they are, a little that may be regarded as 
authentic of the Lancaster County settlers has lately 


struggled into life through the labors of Professor Schef- 
fer, of Amsterdam, among the old records of the " Dutch 
Committee on Foreign Needs." 

" It is no wonder that, half a year later, the Committee 
on Foreign Needs cherished few hopes concerning the 
colony. [This evidently refers to the Germantown settle- 
ment.] They felt, however, for nine or ten families, who 
had come to Rotterdam, according to information from 
there under date of April 8th, 1709, from the neighbor- 
hood of Worms and Frankenthal, in order to emigrate, 
and whom they earnestly sought to dissuade from making 
the journey. They were, said the letter from Rotterdam, 
altogether very poor men, who intended to seek a better 
place of abode in Pennsylvania. Much has been expended 
upon them hitherto freely, and these people bring with 
them scarcely anything that is necessary in the way of 
raiment and provisions, and much less the money that 
must be spent for fare from here to England and from 
there on the great journey, before they can settle in that 
foreign land. . . . The emigrants of April, 1 709, accom- 
plished their object, though, as it appears, through the 
assistance of others ; at all events, I think they are the 
ones referred to by Jacob Tellner, a Netherlander Men- 
nonite, dwelling at London, who wrote, August 6th, to 
Amsterdam and Haarlem : ' Eight families went to Penn- 
sylvania : the English Friends, who are called Quakers, 
helped them liberally.' " Barclay, in his Religious Socie- 
ties of the Commonwealth , says : " But not only did the 
leaders of the early Society of Friends take great interest 
in the Mennonites, but the Yearly Meeting of 1709 con- 
tributed fifty pounds (a very large sum at that time) for 
the Mennonites of the Palatinate, who had fled from the 


persecution of the Calvinists in Switzerland." This re- 
quired the agreement of the representatives of above four 
hundred churches, and shows in a strong light the sym- 
pathy which existed among the early Friends for the 

There can be little doubt that this was the group of 
Mennonites who appeared in the autumn of 1709, on the 
banks of the Pequea. The dates correspond exactly, as 
does also the number and the nationality of them. 

The first Lancaster County settlement of Mennonites 
seems to have been composed of persons who had fled 
from the persecutions of the Swiss Cantons in the previous 
century, and remained for some time settled at various 
points on the Rhine, particularly in the Palatinate, the 
Elector of which at that time seemed kindly disposed. 

The group of 17 17, however, who settled higher up on 
the Conestoga, came fresh from a new Swiss outbreak. 
Professor Scheffer says : "Fiercer than ever became the 
persecution of the Mennonites in Switzerland : the prisons 
of Bern were filled with the unfortunates, and the inhuman 
treatment to which they were subjected caused many to 
pine away and die. The rest feared from day to day 
that the minority in the Council, which demanded their 
trial, would soon become a majority. Through the inter- 
cession, however, of the States-General, whose aid the 
Netherland Mennonites sought, not without success, some 
results were effected. The Council of Bern finally deter- 
mined to send the prisoners, well watched and guarded, 
in order to transport them from there in an English ship 
to Pennsylvania. On the 1 8th of March, 17 10, the exiles 
departed from Bern : on the 28th, with their vessel they 
reached Manheim, and on the 6th of April, Nimeguen ; 


and when they touched Netherland soil their sufferings 
came to an end at last. They were free, and their useless 
guards could return to Switzerland. . . . Most of them 
went to the Palatinate to seek their kinsmen and friends, 
and before long a deputation of them came back here. 
On the first of May we find three of their preachers, Hans 
Burchi or Burghalter, Melchior Zaller and Benedict 
Brechbiehl, with Hans Rub and Peter Donens, in Amster- 
dam, where they gave a further account of their affairs 
with the Bern magistracy, and apparently consulted with 
the Committee as to whether they should establish them- 
selves near the Palatinate brethren or on the land in the 
neighborhood of Campen and Gronigen, which was to be 
gradually purchased by the Committee on behalf of the 
fugitives. The majority preferred a residence in the Pala- 
tinate, but they soon found great difficulty in accom- 
plishing it. The Palatinate community was generally 
poor, so that the brethren, with the best disposition, could 
be of little service in insuring the means of gaining a 
livelihood. There was a scarcity of land and farm- 
houses, and there was much to be desired in the way of 
religious liberty, since they were subject entirely to the 
humors of the Elector, or, worse still, his officers. For 
nearly seven years, often supported by the Netherland 
brethren, they waited and persevered, always hoping for 
better times. Then, their numbers being continually in- 
creased, they finally determined upon other measures, 
and at a meeting of their elders at Manheim, in February, 
17 1 7, decided to call upon the Netherlander for help in 
carrying out the great plan of removing to Pennsylvania, 
which they had long contemplated, and which had then 
come to maturity." Hans Burghalter, the leader of this 


movement, is mentioned by Rupp in his list of early 
Mennonite preachers, and Pennypacker speaks of him as 
still preaching on the Conestoga in 1727. On the 20th 
of March, 1 7 1 7, the Committee on Foreign Needs received 
information that over one hundred persons had set out, 
and soon afterwards they learned from Rotterdam that 
the number had been increased to three hundred souls. 
In 1726 another movement began, and emigration 
started afresh and with renewed force from the Palatinate. 
Again: "On the 12th of April, 1727, there were one hun- 
dred and fifty ready to depart, and on the 16th of May 
the Committee were compelled to write to the Palatinate 
that they 'ought to be informed of the coming of those 
already on the way, so that they could best provide for 
them,' and 'how many would arrive without means;' but 
on the 20th the Committee learned that forty-five more 
needy ones had started from the Palatinate. These, with 
eight others, cost the society 327 if. I5st. Before the 
end of July twenty-one more came to Rotterdam, and so 
it continued. The Committee also sent forbidding letter 
after letter to the Palatinate, but every year they had to be 
repeated, and sometimes, as for instance, May 6th, 1733, 
they drew frightful pictures: 'We learn from New York 
that a ship from Rotterdam going to Pennsylvania with 
one hundred and fifty Palatinates wandered twenty-four 
weeks at sea. When they finally arrived at port nearly 
all the people were dead. The rest, through want of 
vivres, were forced to subsist on rats and vermin, and all 
are sick and weak. The danger of such an occurrence is 
always so great that the most heedless do not run the 
risk except through extreme want' Nevertheless, the 
stream of emigrants did not cease." God bless the 


"Committee on Foreign Needs" of Holland ; and may the 
people of Lancaster County learn the value of its friend- 
ship to their stricken and persecuted ancestry. After 
1733 we lose trace of any distinct Mennonite emigrations 
to this country, though Mennonites came through the 
entire remainder of the eighteenth century. 

There is an address extant (it being a memorial of the 
Amish Mennonites to William Penn) which breathes the 
fervent spirit which animated them, and at the same time 
illustrates their principles and aims in the land of their 
adoption. It is dated May 20th, 171 8, the month and 
year in which Penn died, and reads as follows : 

To the most worshipful and respectable Proprietor of the 
Province, William Pen//, and his Deputy Governor : 

We came to Pennsylvania to seek an asylum from the 
persecution to which w^ had been subjected in Europe. 
We know the character of William Penn, and rejoiced 
God had made such a man. We had been told that the 
Indian right to the soil had been extinguished by pur- 
chase, to enable the conscientiously scrupulous to settle 
and enjoy their religious opinions without restraint. It 
was with primitive notions like the Patriarchs of antiquity 
we removed to the land of promise, but to our grief and 
surprise and mortification the government neither re- 
spected the conscience of the proprietary nor the faith of 
the Amish. We were invited to settle in this land by 
William Penn. 

" Listen to us ; if you do not, who will ? We are re- 
quired to obey laws in whose making we cannot par- 
ticipate (the Amish differing from the other Mennonites 
at that time in not voting). We are governed by the 
laws of God, you by the laws of man. Those of human 
authority cannot control us in opposition to His will 
declared in the Holy Scripture. We do not attend 


elections. We enter not your Courts of Justice. We 
hold no offices, neither civil or military. We did 
not object to the payment of our land, because it was 
purchased by William Perm, and you are entitled to 
remuneration, but we hold it to be a grievance that, 
entertaining nearly the same opinions as the respectable 
Society of Friends, we should like them be subjected to 
military and civil jurisdiction, especially when it is 
recollected that the head and proprietor, whom we now 
have the honor through you to address, is himself a 
member of that Society. The Society of Friends at least 
ought to have escaped such treatment. We are not a 
little people, for our neighbors, the Mennonites and the 
Tunkers, are also liable to be insulted by the tyranny of 

" We came to Pennsylvania to enjoy freedom of mind 
and body, expecting no other imposition than that de- 
clared by God. As we have been taught to hurt not 
our neighbors, so do we expect that our neighbors will 
do us no injury. As we cannot contract debts, we re- 
quire no law for their recovery. 

" If we should be so unfortunate as to have indigent 
neighbors we shall provide for their wants. The same 
inclination that tends to the preservation of our children 
prompts to the care of every member of our flock. Con- 
science, the voice of God, deters us from the commission 
of crime. As we commit no crime, hard is it for us to 
suffer for those of others. We ought not to be com- 
pelled to pay for the maintenance of convicts. 

" We ask you for permission to pass our lives in inno- 
cence and tranquillity. Let us pursue our avocations un- 
molested. We respect your rights, respect our customs. 
We ask nothing of you but what the Word of God can 

Here is a little of the lofty spirit of the first emigration ; 
it is the spirit of the Swiss mountains. It brought the 
answer. The deputy governor sent orders to the judicial 


officers to mitigate the civil duties imposed upon the 
peace sects in the valley of the Conestoga, and they have 
been mitigated ever since. 

Their religious views were at an early date and since 
misrepresented, and no small degree of prejudice excited 
against them. To allay such unfounded prejudices they 
had " The Christian Confession of Faith, etc., contain- 
ing the chief doctrine held by them, translated into Eng- 
lish, and published at Philadelphia in 1728." In the pref- 
ace to that publication they say " that the Confession of 
Faith of the harmless and defenceless Christians, called 
Mennonites, is as yet little known. Therefore it hath 
been thought fit and needful to translate, at the desire of 
some of our fellow-believers in Pennsylvania, our Con- 
fession of Faith into English." This Confession, which 
is given in another portion of this work, is approved and 
received by the elders and ministers of the congregations 
called Mennonites. " We do (say they) acknowledge and 
hereby make known that we own the Confession. In 
testimony whereof, and that we believe the same to be 
good, we have subscribed our names, A.D. 1727: 

" Skippack : Jacob Gaedtschlack, Henry Kolb, Claes 
Jansen, Michael Ziegler. 

" Germantown : John Gorgas, John Conerads, Clas 
Rittinghausen. , 

" Conestoga : Hans Burgholtzer, Christian Herr, Bene- 
dict Hirshi, Martin Baer, Johannes Bowman. 

" Great Swamp : Velte Clemer. 

" Manatant : Daniel Langenecker, Jacob Beghtly." 

Eby Family. 

The ancestor who first came to America, and from 
whom the greater part of the family has sprung, was 
named Theodorus ; he was a Mennonite in faith. Accord- 
ing to the colonial records he arrived in 171 5. Five 
years later, in 1720, Peter Eby arrived. So far as can be 
judged from the oldest known members, they must origin- 
ally have been an active, quick-tempered, brown-eyed, 
dark-haired family. 

The name of only one of the sons of Theodorus is 
now certainly known, which was Christian. He married 
a Mayer, and settled in Elizabeth Township, about three 
miles north of Litiz. He died in 1756 and left ten chil- 
dren. His oldest son, Christian Eby, married Catharine 
Bricker. He was an elder in the Mennonite Church, 
and wore a long beard which in his later years had turned 
white. Regular stated Mennonite meetings were held at 
his house, until a building for that special purpose was 
erected in the neighborhood. He died in 1807, leaving 
eleven children. The third son, Peter, moved to Pequea 
Valley, and afterwards became a Mennonite Bishop. 

The tenth son, Benjamin, moved to Canada, was made 
a minister in the Mennonite Church, and succeeded his 
brother Peter as Bishop of the Mennonites in Canada. 
Christian, the third from Theodorus, left nine ehildren. 



The sixth son, Benjamin, served as minister among the 
Mennonites for many years, up to the time of his death. 

Peter* Eby, married to Margaret Hess, moved to 
Salisbury Township, near the Gap, in 1791, and followed 
farming when his time was not taken up by his duties as 
a minister of the Gospel or Bishop in the Mennonite 
Church. He was ordained a minister in 1800, and was 
the second in his denomination in that neighborhood. 
Up to 1 8 14 he preached in private houses ; then a school- 
house was erected, and afterwards a meeting-house for 
that special purpose. 

This member of. the family deserves more than a pass- 
ing notice. His fame as a preacher was widely known, 
and served to fill the houses to their utmost capacity 
wherever he was known to officiate. His preaching was 
altogether extemporaneous, and its effect upon an audience 
great. And yet he was not a sensational preacher. It 
frequently happened that strangers hearing him for the 
first time, although otherwise informed, would not be 
convinced that he was not a person regularly educated 
and trained for the ministry. He died April 6th, 1843, 
in his seventy-eighth year, leaving nine children. 

* Peter the second. 

Herr Family. 

Hans, or John, Herr came to this country in 1710, 
from Switzerland, with his four sons ; the fifth son, 
Christian, had come to this country before the rest of the 

Christian Herr was a minister of the Mennonite Church, 
and was the first of the family in this country ; he came 
in 1709. 

John Herr, son of Emanuel, who came over in 17 10, 
was a minister in the Mennonite Church. 

D. K. Herr, grandson of Martin, and son of Hemy, 
was married to Susan Musser, and was a Mennonite 

Amos Herr, a son of Christian, was also a Mennonite 

Benjamin, a brother of Amos, was a Mennonite minis- 
ter and Bishop. 

John Herr, the founder of the New Mennonite Church, 
or Herrenleute, was born in Lancaster County, Pennsyl- 
vania, September 18th, 178 1. His father, Francis, was 
the son of Emanuel Herr, one of the five sons of Hans 
Herr, who came over in 17 10. 


Hershey Family. 

Andrew Hershey was born in Switzerland in the 
year 1702, and moved with his father to the Palatinate. 
In the year 171 9 he and his brother, Benjamin, sailed 
for America and settled in Lancaster County. His 
brother Christian also came to America, settling in Lan- 
caster in 1739. Each of the three brothers was chosen 
a minister in the Mennonite Church. Andrew died in 
the year 1792, aged ninety years. 


A Brief Sketch of the First Mennonite 
Settlers in Pennsylvania. 

By a Non-Mennonite. 

From the year 1537 until the present century the Men- 
nonites were subjected to the most terrible persecutions. 
On this account they saw the necessity of fleeing from 
one country to another, consequently they were scattered ; 
many of them went to Russia, Prussia, Poland, Holland 
and Denmark, and by invitation of the noble and liberal- 
minded William Perm, the founder of the State of Penn- 
sylvania, many families sought and found better homes 
beyond the great sea. This happened in the year 1683. 
Later, in 1693, a second party followed, and also settled 
themselves at Germantown, where they erected for them- 
selves'a school and meeting-house in 1708. In the year 
1709 a third party followed, consisting mostly of perse- 
cuted Swiss families, who settled themselves in Pequea 
Valley, Chester, now Lancaster, County. Among these, 
we find the names of Herr, Meylin, Kendig, Miller, Ober- 
holzer, Funk, Bauman and others. They settled them- 
selves right in the midst of the Mingo or Conestoga, 
Pequea and Shawanese Indians, where they were sub- 
jected to many trials and hardships in establishing their 
new homes. Notwithstanding all that they felt themselves 



more secure among those wild domestics than in the 
midst of those raw hordes of antichrists of Europe. 

In the years 171 1, 17 17 and 1727 other emigrants came 
from Europe, so that in the year 1735 they already 
counted over five hundred families in Lancaster County. 
For some time they held their meetings in school-houses 
which were built very plain, as was the custom among 
those people. As they were not possessed of large 
amounts of money to spend for large or costly churches, 
but were more inclined to spend for their home comfort, 
they did not pay so much attention to beautifying out- 
wardly. Their plain, clean way or habit in their houses, 
more particularly in their apparel, has pleased the writer 
very much. But it seems to me as if the beloved rising 
generations were very indifferent in keeping up the old 
customs of our devout forefathers, and are, I am sorry to 
say, following the fashions of this world. 

The Mennonites have spread themselves over almost 
the whole of North America and Canada, so that already 
twenty-five years ago (1847) their number was estimated 
at one hundred and twenty thousand souls. In Pennsyl- 
vania, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa 
and other States they are found in the most fertile val- 
leys, and are richly blessed with this world's goods. 

On one occasion, when conversing with an old brother, 
I remarked that he had selected a beautiful home for him- 
self, he answered, "Our beloved Saviour said, 'Blessed 
are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.' " There 
is no doubt those old forefathers, noble, living children 
of God, who had the grace of God to leave their all for 
the sake of the Lord, there is yet a blessing from those 
dear forefathers which will not permit the light to be 


extinguished. Oh ! that their mantle may fall on all of 
us, and the Spirit of the Lord may awaken all mortal 
bodies to be living spirits, to re-awake and resurrect all 
congregations that are called by His name. This is the 
wish from the bottom of the heart of your humble 

The Swiss Mennonites in Ohio. 

Many of the Mennonite congregations were organized 
from 1820 to 1830 by Swiss Mennonites who came direct 
from Switzerland. Six such congregations are in exist- 
ence at the present time ; the oldest is called the " Son- 
nenberg; " congregation, in Wayne County, Ohio. The 
next, also in the same county, is the " Chippeway " con- 
gregation. About one hundred and fifty miles further 
west in Ohio, in the counties of Putnam and Allen, is the 
great Swiss and Alsace community, known as the Put- 
nam congregation. Next is the congregation at Berne, 
Indiana; and lastly, two congregations in Missouri, viz. : 
the Bethel congregation, at Tipton ; and the Elkton con- 
gregation, in Hickory County. The two last named 
have been organized since i860, principally by Swiss 
Mennonites who came from the older congregations east- 
ward. During the session of the Conference in Berne, 
Indiana, November, 1884, representatives were present 
from all these congregations. A number of visiting 
brethren also came together in Berne, which created a 
renewal of friendship and acquaintanceship by mutual 
communications, and reminding each other of their trials 
and hardships in olden times. 

The Mennonites in Switzerland had to endure persecu- 
tion as late as the seventeenth century and in the begin- 



ning of the eighteenth century, and as they were driven 
from their homes they emigrated to the territory of 
Basel, which belonged to the Archbishop of the city of 
Basel. There they were tolerated under certain restric- 
tions : they were compelled to live on the mountains, 
and were only allowed to occupy the poorest land, and 
they could not buy it, they were only allowed to rent it ; 
neither were they tolerated in towns, nor to rent or lease 
any land near a town. After a time all kinds of slander- 
ous reports were raised by their enemies and brought 
before the Prince Bishop of Basel ; consequently he 
issued an edict that all Baptists (as the Mennonites were 
then called) should leave the country by a certain time, 
under penalty, which created much sorrow and grief. 
They did not know what to do, and they wept and 
prayed. In this time of affliction a prominent official 
took pity on these poor people and interceded for them 
before the prince. He told the prince how these people 
tilled the land on the hillsides, which could not be culti- 
vated with the plow, and they paid their rents, also the 
tenth of their products to the government. Conse- 
quently the edict was recalled by the prince, on the con- 
dition that they should remain on the mountains. On 
receiving information that the edict was recalled they 
rejoiced and thanked God, and encouraged each other to 
lead an humble and virtuous life, and the congregation 
resolved to make a present to the prince of a piece of 
linen cloth of their own manufacture, also the same to 
each of his successors, as a token of fidelity to the 
government. David Baumgartner, who died in 1853, in 
Adams County, Indiana, in his eighty-eighth year, 
remembered and related in conversation, in the last 


year of his life, that his father helped to take a piece 
of their cloth to the prince, which was accepted with 

To escape similar persecutions many Mennonites left 
Switzerland and emigrated to other countries, viz. : the 
Palatinate, Alsace and later to America, so that from the 
years 1709 to 1735 over five hundred families emigrated 
to Pennsylvania from Switzerland and the Palatinate and 
settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, among the 
Indians. In other parts of America we also find large 
congregations of Mennonites, of Swiss origin, which can 
be shown by reliable writers. 

About fifty or sixty years ago a prominent Swiss 
writer, Heinrich Zschokke, traveled through the Jura 
Mountains, in the Bishoprick of Basel, and gave a 
description of its inhabitants. In regard to the Men- 
nonites, he says : " More than one hundred families of 
the Baptists (as the Mennonites were then called) live 
here in the valleys and on the mountains, and through 
their skill make the poorest soil productive. They are a 
sturdy race, healthy, true-hearted, peaceable and good 
natured, beloved by their neighbors ; Protestants and 
Catholics would trust them rather than their own people.. 
These people were driven out of the country by the 
government of Bern (the Calvinists) because they refused 
to swear an oath and to take up the sword in war. This 
shows that the Prince Bishop of Basel was even more 
tolerant than the Protestant Calvinists." 

He further says : " I was among the Baptists (now 
called Mennonites) as content as if I were among the 
first Christians in olden times ; they were merry, but 
God-fearing, hospitable and industrious ; among them 


are no drunkards, no gamblers, no rowdies, no liars. 
They assist each other when in need, and on Sunday 
they meet at a neighbor's house to hold Divine service, 
sometimes in the open air, sometimes in a barn." 

The emigrants to Pennsylvania in 1815 and 1818 
were Benedict Schrag and family, from Canton Basel, 
and a young man named Hans Burkholter. Schrag 
afterwards settled in Wayne County, Ohio, and wrote a 
long letter to Switzerland, which created a desire among 
others to come to America, among whom were Peter 
Lehman, Isaac Sommer (grandfather of the present editor 
of the Bundes Bote, J. A. Sommer), Ulrich Lehman and 
David Kilchhofer. They started on their journey in 
1819. In the year 1821 came Hans Lehman (deacon), 
Abraham Lehman, Hans and Christian Lehman, Abra- 
ham and David Zircher, Jacob Bichsfcl, Jacob Moser and 
Peter Hofstetter; in 1822 and 1824 sixteen families 
arrived, and in 1825, 1828 and 1835 a number of other 
families arrived, some from Alsace. The Chippeway 
congregation was organized in 1825, and the Putnam 
congregation in 1835, and the congregation at Berne, 
Indiana, was organized about the year 1838. 

At present a trip or journey to Switzerland and back- 
to America again, by steamer and railroad, would be only 
a pleasure trip ; but what was it about sixty or more years 
ago, when our forefathers first came over and settled in 
Ohio ? When they had made up their minds to go to 
America the first thing for them to do was to get a 
wagon and a horse ; they had to see to get enough money 
for that. The next was to get a chest for their wearing 
apparel, and a chest for their victuals, and beds; that was 
about all they would or could take on the wagon with 
the family. Then they commenced their journey, with a 


" Good-bye, ye Alps, ye shepherds and ye brethren, God 
be with you," then, with tears in their eyes, gave their 
last look over their mountainous home. They then pro- 
ceeded on their journey, the father alongside of the 
wagon, also the rest who were old enough to walk at 
times. In this manner they traveled through France, by 
way of Paris, to Havre (the seaport where they took the 
sailing ship). So far they had already traveled a distance 
of about five hundred miles. There they sold their horse ; 
their baggage and wagon were put on board the ship for 
America. A journey across the ocean generally took 
from seven to eight weeks. The first four families landed 
in New York ; then their baggage and wagon were taken 
out of the ship, the wagon put together again and loaded, 
a horse was bought and they proceeded on their journey 
to the Far West — as it then was — the wilderness of Ohio, 
a distance of about five hundred miles. Some of them 
who had not the means to go any further remained with 
their brethren in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, 
others in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where they were prop- 
erly entertained, and provisions and money were given 
them to enable them to finish their journey. Thus after 
a tedious journey of five or six months they arrived in the 
wilderness of Ohio, where those who had a little money 
bought land from the pioneers that was already improved 
to some extent; others who were without means went 
right in the wilderness and bought government land that 
was yet cheap. 

In the first place they selected a suitable spot to build 
a house. Then they commenced to clear the timber away; 
then they cut the logs to a suitable length, and after they 
had logs enough ready they all joined together one day 
to put the house up, what they called " logging ; " gen- 


erally by sundown the house was up, and after a merry 
day's work the owner could look upon it with satisfac- 
tion. Next it wanted a roof. They then had to split the 
shingles and put them on the house and put heavy poles 
across to keep them down, as they had no nails. Then 
they had to cut out a door and windows, and build a 
fire-place and chimney, as iron stoves were not then known 
in the West. The nearest mills were from twenty to 
thirty miles away and the roads very bad ; it would take 
a man two to three days to go and come, and time was 
precious, so they had to find other means to crack their 
corn to prepare it for food, but they soon overcame that 
difficulty. The women made gardens, prepared the 
ground and raised vegetables ; they got pigs, which would 
fatten without any expense, and bought cows as soon as 
they could, which would support themselves in the 
woods. The greatest difficulty was to get clothing ; that 
which they brought from Switzerland was soon worn 
out, and for their produce they had no market nearer 
than one hundred miles. Wheat was worth twenty-five 
cents per bushel and muslin fifty cents a yard, and 
other articles in proportion. Money was at that time 
very scarce. In the whole settlement there was not 
money enough to pay postage on a letter to Switzerland, 
but they were ambitious, and one day one of them 
traveled fifteen miles to a settlement of Amish brethren 
to borrow twenty-five cents to pay postage to Switzer- 
land. Under such circumstances they could not think 
of buying new clothing, but made every effort to help 
themselves. They planted flax, and as soon as they could 
got sheep, raised wool, the women spun it into yarn, the 
men wove it into cloth, and then dyed it yellow or black 
with bark from trees. 

A Sketch of the Mennonite Settlement 
in Canada.* 

By Dr. A. Eby. 

About the year 1683 the first Mennonite emigrants 
arrived and settled themselves in the vicinity of Philadel- 
phia, and called the place Germantown. They came 
from Crefeld on the Rhine. In the year 1709 a number 
of Swiss Mennonites emigrated to Pennsylvania and 
settled in Chester, now Lancaster, County, and others 
soon followed. As they lived in peace and enjoyed 
liberty of conscience, they understood well how to 
value these blessings, which they enjoyed under the 
English Crown. So that in the commencement of the 
opposition to the English Government on the part of their 
fellow-citizens they could not sanction such movements, 
and they were in danger of losing the liberty which they 
enjoyed heretofore, and consequently the privilege to 
serve God according to the dictates of their own con- 
science. As they believed it to be contrary to the doc- 
trine of Christ to take up the sword against their neigh- 
bors, neither could they sanction the doings or actions 
of their fellow-citizens. At this point they were in a 
very awkward predicament. The English looked upon 
them as rebels, because they refused to defend the 

*This article was published in German in 1 87 1, and translated into 
English by D. K. Cassel in 1887. 



English Government with arms ; on the other hand, they 
were looked upon by the Americans as sympathizing 
with the English, because they would not take an active 
part in throwing off the English yoke. 

In the commencement of the war many American 
soldiers advocated, and asked that the Mennonites and 
other defenceless Christians should be deprived of their 
citizenship. In order to escape that, they sent a petition 
to the Continental Congress on the 7th of November, 
1775, in which the doctrine and principles of these de- 
fenceless people were explained. This petition was, 
after due consideration, accepted by Congress, and their 
privileges and doctrines were ratified by the new govern- 
ment,* but, at the same time, there were many of the 
Mennonites who were opposed to recognize and live 
under a government that was established by revolution. 

Under such circumstances many of these defenceless 
people, not feeling exactly satisfied in their minds, be- 
came desirous of living under the English Government 
again. They heard of a country lying northwest of 
Pennsylvania, then not much known, which was yet 
under the government of George the Third, to whom 
they were more or less inclined, perhaps for the reason 
that he was a German, as they were themselves. There- 
fore many came to the conclusion to emigrate to Canada. 

In the year 1799 seven families emigrated and settled 
in Niagara District, in Upper Canada; other families 
soon followed, so that the settlement soon prospered and 
spread in the Townships of Louth and Clinton, in Lin- 

* A short and sincere declaration was then sent to the Continental Con- 
gress as an acknowledgment, which I have already mentioned in the 
article, " Mennonile Meeting at Germantown." 


coin County, where the first settlement was established. 
They spread themselves over the neighboring counties 
of Haldimand, Welland and Wentworth, in which several 
congregations are in existence at the present time. The 
first Mennonite seUlers in this district came from Bucks 
County, in Pennsylvania. 

As early as 1S01 Samuel Moyer wrote in the name of 
the new settlers to the congregations in Bucks County, 
asking them to advise, help and assist them in ordaining 
a minister, as they had none yet. But none of the min- 
isters in Bucks County felt inclined to undertake so long 
and dangerous a journey; as it then was, to comply with 
their request. After the matter had been carefully con- 
sidered in a conference of the ministers in Bucks County, 
it was resolved to advise their brethren in Canada, 
through prayer and intercession for God's divine guid- 
ance, to select by ballot, and from among those balloted 
for by lot, a minister and a deacon. The letter contain- 
ing this advice was written in Bedminster Township, 
Bucks County, dated September 4th, 1801, and signed 
by Jacob Gross, Abraham Wismer, Abraham Oberholzer, 
John Funk, Rudolph Landis and Samuel Moyer. 

Whether the above advice to the young congregation 
in Canada was accepted and carried into effect is not 
clearly known, as all the witnesses are dead, and no 
written records of their proceedings in the matter known 
to exist ; but it is a well-known fact that Valentine Kratz 
was the first Mennonite minister in Canada, and was 
ordained in 1801. It would have required at least three 
or four weeks to bring the letter containing the above 
advice to its proper destination, which would then have 
been the beginning of October before the congregation 


in Canada would have received it, so that the time would 
have been too short to write to any other congregation 
in Pennsylvania and await an answer, and ordain a min- 
ister before the end of the year; it is quite evident, then, 
that the congregation followed the advice of the brethren 
from Bedminster, Bucks County, and selected Valentine 
Kratz as their minister, without any other minister being 
present to install him. This advice of the Bucks County 
conference is sufficient to show that a minister can be 
selected and installed, in case of a similar emergency, 
without the presence of another minister. It is quite 
certain that Valentine Kratz was chosen as a shepherd 
of the little flock that was gathered in the wilderness of 
Canada in 1801, in the house of Dillman Mover, but it is 
not certain whether he was chosen by lot, or whether he 
was the only person voted for. It is said that he actually 
had but one vote. He would have been entitled to have 
been one of the number when the lot was cast if there 
had been more candidates ; but as that is not known, it 
is therefore not possible to decide whether he was chosen 
by lot or whether he was the only person voted for. In 
the same year, but whether at the same time is not 
known, John Fretz was selected a deacon in the same 

In the next year, 1802, Jacob Mover was chosen a 
minister, and five years later he was ordained a Bishop. 
Why this congregation, yet so young and small, in so 
short a time elected a second minister is not clear, but 
probably for the reason that Kratz, although a very 
devout and well-meaning Christian, was not a fluent 
speaker, while Mover was a fluent and earnest speaker, 
and a very energetic man in his actions. The two were 


working together until 1824, when Kratz departed this 
life in his sixty-fifth year. About this time Jacob Moyer, 
the second, was called to the ministry by the same con- 
gregation by lot. He served until the year 1831, when 
he departed this life in the thirty ninth year of his age. 
About three months after the death of Jacob Moyer the 
second, Daniel Hoch was chosen by lot as his successor 
in the ministry. In the year 1833 Bishop Jacob Moyer 
made a visit to Pennsylvania, where he was taken sick 
while visiting his friends in Bucks County, and died in 
the sixty-sixth year of his age (and is buried in the Men- 
nonite burying-ground in Perkasi, Bucks County). In the 
Fall of the same year Jacob Gross was chosen as his 
successor in the ministry, and in the following year he 
was ordained a Bishop ; on these two occasions Bishop 
Benjamin Eby, of Berlin, Waterloo County, officiated. 
Several years after Jacob Gross had been ordained a 
Bishop, the congregation so increased that it was thought 
necessary to have more ministers ; not only had the mem- 
bership increased, but the settlements also, so that it was 
necessary to hold meetings in different places. 

About the time the dissension took place, in 1848, there 
were at least three meeting-houses. To supply the in- 
creased demands and to accommodate the membership, 
Dillman Moyer and Abraham Moyer were called to the 
ministry ; these were the sons of Jacob Moyer, deceased. 
This was about the year 1 850, and in 1872 they were 
both yet living. 

In the same year in which the settlement in the Niag- 
ara district took place (1799), Samuel Betzner and Joseph 
Scherch, two energetic young men, with their families, left 
their homes in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, and under- 


took the journey, which at that time required weeks, a 
distance of over five hundred English miles, mostly 
through the wilderness, in search of that country in which 
the King of England was still honored. It is not neces- 
sary for this subject to describe the many hardships they 
had to endure; the mountains they had to climb, the 
rivers they had to cross, and the swamps they had to 
wade through were many hindrances in their way, but 
they trusted in God and did not fear the hardships which 
were before them. After a long and tedious journey they 
arrived safely on the Canadian shore of the great Niagara. 
Here they left their families, while they went further in- 
land to examine the country. They heard of a beautiful 
and fertile country (presumably through hunters or In- 
dians), which was watered by a magnificent stream, and 
they resolved to see this district, which was reported to 
be in a northwesterly direction from Ancaster, at that 
time a place of importance, before they would settle them- 
selves anywhere. They easily found their way through 
the woods by following the path of the Indians until they 
came to the Township of Waterloo, at that time said to be 
the property of a certain Robert Beasley; but afterwards 
it was found that the whole township was heavily mort- 
gaged. But as this mortgage created a great draw- 
back in the settlement of Waterloo, I will take it up again 
in the future. 

When Betzner and Scherch first came to Waterloo 
there were no settlers there, except a few hunters or 
traders, and surveyors perhaps never saw it. They soon 
resolved to settle in the vicinity of Preston, so called after 
the name of one of the traders who had been there to 
locate a home for themselves fur the future. After the)' 


Saw the country and satisfied themselves, they went back 
again to their families until the Spring of 1800, when 
they with their families moved up to Preston, in Water- 
loo County, and thus they were the first settlers in the 
richest and now most populous district of Canada. Their 
number was increased in the same year by two families of 
Brethren, or Dunkards, who came from Lancaster County, 

In the year 1801 their number was further increased 
by the arrival of seven families, of whom the majority 
were Mennonites. Among other arrivals in the year 
1802 were Joseph Bechtel and family. He was afterward 
chosen to the ministry and was the first Mennonite min- 
ister in Waterlo. He served alone until 181 1, when the 
well-known and renowned Benjamin Eby was called to the 
ministry and afterward elected the first Bishop in Water- 
loo, in which capacity he served many years. He was 
born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, about the year 
1784, where he received only an ordinary common school 
education; he afterward married a Miss Brubacher, and 
in 1807 he came with his wife to Canada and settled in 
the eastern part of the present town of Berlin ; his wife 
was a sister of John Brubacher, deacon, at Berlin. Here 
he lived highly honored and respected until his death in 
1853. He wrote several small works, among others a 
spelling and reading book ; also a condensed history of 
the Mennonites. 

In the beginning of this article I remarked that the 
anxiety to live again under the English Crown was what 
brought the first Mennonites to Canada. This was not 
the case with all the first settlers in Waterloo. Where 
true Christian love is manifested there is always a readi- 


ness to offer a brother a helping hand, otherwise there 
would have been few of the Schneiders, Erbs, Schantzs, 
Brubachers, Baumans, Webers, Martins and the Ebys, 
who, at the present time, form such- an important portion 
of the Mennonite population, to come to the province. 
All the first settlers bought their land, for which they 
paid the greater portion of their worldly goods, from the 
above-named Richard Beasley. But he did not tell them 
that the whole Township of Waterloo was heavily mort- 
gaged, and that he could not give them a good and clear 
title. They themselves were so absolutely honest, and 
so little were they acquainted with the trickery and char- 
latanry of this world, that they could hardly think that 
any man could be so extremely dishonest that he would 
undertake to sell that which belonged to two others in 
common, and besides that, yet covered by mortgage. As 
they did not doubt the honesty of Beasley, they did not 
think it worth the trouble to examine into the matter to 
determine whether the title was clear or not. He un- 
doubted!)' had intended to sell as much land as possible 
before it would be found out that it was mortgaged, then 
these poor people could see how they could settle with 
the mortgage holders ; but God, in His Providence, 
watched over them and frustrated the intentions of 

In the winter of 1802-3 Samuel Bricker, then quite a 
young man, made a business tour to Toronto, then called 
York. The previous summer he had come from Cum- 
berland County, Pennsylvania, to Waterloo, and was 
about to occupy an important position in the new settle- 
ment. He stayed over night in a hotel in Toronto, where 
a stranger, whose name we have not, took notice of him 


and asked where he came from. He told the stranger 
he came from Waterloo, whereupon the stranger ex- 
pressed his joy to have met with him, as he had heard 
that a number of honest ^people had bought land there 
which was mortgaged. Young Bricker at first could 
not and would not believe such unpleasant news, but 
the stranger directed him to the Register's Office, which 
was at that time in the same town. Here he found the 
next day the stranger's message only too true. With a 
heavy heart he went home and told his brethren and 
friends what he had learned. At first no one would be- 
lieve him, but as he insisted upon his information being 
correct, they agreed to send two out of their midst to 
York to investigate the matter. When Beasley learned 
that his fraud was detected he had at first refused to do 
anything to make satisfaction, but when he learned that 
no more settlers could be induced to buyland from him, 
then he offered to sell to a company as much land as 
would be required to pay the mortgage. Samuel Bricker 
and Joseph Scherch were then sent tQ Pennsylvania to 
make an effort to raise the required amount of money. 
They first went to Cumberland County, the former home 
of Bricker, but met with no success, and Scherch, being 
quite discouraged, went home again; but Bricker, not 
being so easily discouraged, went to Lancaster County, 
where he met John Eby, brother of Bishop Benjamin 
Eby, of Berlin, Canada, and to him he explained the cir- 
cumstances. Brother John Eby took the matter to heart 
and sympathized with his brethren in Canada in their 
troubles. Through the night he considered the matter, 
and the next morning he went out on horseback and in- 
vited all his neighbors to meet at his house, to consult and 


determine what to do in the case. In consequence of this 
conference an association was formed for the purpose of 
buying enough land to clear the township of the mort- 
gage. Accordingly they bought 60,000 acres of land in 
Waterloo from Beasley, which was sufficient to cover all 
incumbrances. But Beasley tried another dodge to de- 
fraud them. He wrote a deed for the land they had 
bought from him, which he offered, but as they had been 
defrauded once they would not trust him a second time. 
They engaged a competent lawyer to examine the deed 
offered by Beasley and to close the purchase, w T ho found 
the deed prepared by Beasley worthless. He then made 
an affort to bring the matter in proper shape for them 
and succeeded. He not only saved their money, but also 
prevented much trouble and worriment, which would have 
been entailed upon them had they accepted the worthless 
deed. Their deed was dated June 20th, 1805. They 
could now take possession of their land without any 
danger of being molested by anyone; but all trials and 
privations of this # life in a new settlement were not yet at 
an end. The greater portion of the township was now 
the property of the brethren of Lancaster County, Penn- 
sylvania, and many emigrated from Lancaster to Canada 
for a number of years, except through the war of 1812 to 

In 1803, the same year in which Beasley 's fraud was 
detected, a number of families emigrated to Canada and 
settled in Markharn, about twenty miles north of To- 
ronto. What induced them to settle there, I have not 
learned, but I presume they turned their attention to 
Markharn when they learned that it was not safe to buy 
land in Waterloo. One thing is-certain, in 1803 no ncw 


emigrants came to Waterloo. From this it is to be sup- 
posed that those who were about to emigrate to Waterloo, 
which was without doubt the case, when they learned about 
the trouble and difficulty there, concluded to go to Mark- 
ham. Among the first settlers in that district was Henry 
Weitman. He was afterwards called to the ministry, and 
was the first Mennonite preacher in the congregation at 
Markham. Several years later, as he was assisting in cut- 
ting out a street, he lost his life by a tree falling on him. 
We see from this that the Mennonite ministers in Canada 
not only had to contend with ordinary difficulties as minis- 
ters in thinly settled districts, but were also in danger of 
losing their lives while they had to work for the support of 
their families, and to engage in the same labor as their 
neighbors ; as they served the congregation without any 
remuneration, therefore they were directed to support 
themselves and families the same as their neighbors. On 
account of their voluntary service they were for many 
years the only German preachers in Canada, and on many 
occasions were called on to serve at funerals of their 
neighbors of other denominations. Heinrich Weitman's 
successor in the ministry was his son, Adam, while at 
the same time Andrew, another son, served as deacon. 
After Adam followed his son, Jacob, in the ministry in 
Markham. This congregation also extended over the 
neighboring townships, and had several preachers and 

A short time after the formation of the association 
which bought the greater portion of Waterloo, another 
association was formed in Pennsylvania with the intention 
of buying another tract of land in Woolwich, located 
north of Waterloo. This purchase was effected in 1807, 


consisting of 45,000 acres. This led to a further emigra- 
tion from Pennsylvania, among whom the families of 
Martin were largely represented. The year 1806 is 
memorable in the early history of the Mennonites in 
Waterloo, through the destructive forest fires that occur- 
red in the spring of that year. The forests were full of 
dry leaves, so that the fire would run over a large portion 
in a very short space of time, and destroyed everything 
within its reach. The first and greatest of these fires took 
its start in the vicinity of (now) Blair, and by a south- 
westerly wind it soon extended beyond the Grand River, 
and spread itself out over a vast portion of clear land 
and destroyed houses, barns, pasture and fences, also 
cattle and sheep in its course. Among other sufferers is 
to be mentioned Abraham Bechtel. Not only was his 
barn burned but also his house, in which was stored a 
large quantity of provisions, for the purpose of support- 
ing some of his friends who were coming from Pennsyl- 
vania. So scarce were provisions at that time in Waterloo, 
that Bechtel, after his stock was destroyed by fire, was 
compelled to go fifty miles to obtain enough to support 
his family and friends until harvest time. 

The second fire occurred a few miles east of where 
Preston now is, on the farm of Martin Baer, who, with 
much labor, saved his house, while everything else was 
burned for him. Minister John Baer, Martin's son, then 
a little boy of two years, has a vivid recollection of this 
great fire. He well remembers how his father filled every 
vessel with water and carried it on the house top to pro- 
tect the house against the fire. The third fire occurred 
in the district where the city of Berlin now stands, but as 
the whole district was yet covered with timber, it was not 
of so much importance for our subject. 


The above mentioned Martin Baer emigrated from 
York County, Pennsylvania, to Canada in the year 1801, 
and settled on the farm now occupied by his son, John 
Baer, the preacher. He was called to the ministry several 
years after Bishop Benjamin Eby, and was the third 
preacher in the congregation in Waterloo. 

From this time on the congregation in Waterloo in- 
creased, not only in numbers, but they were also blessed 
with this world's goods. Early steps were taken to edu- 
cate the rising generation of the colony. A school was 
opened in 1802 in the vicinity of Samuel Betzner's. Their 
meetings for divine service were generally held in private 
houses, or in school-houses where they existed. 

The first meeting-house was built in 181 1, on the land 
of Bishop Benjamin Eby. In 1838 it was rebuilt, as the 
congregation increased and the old house was too small. 
This meeting-house is at present known by the name of 
Christian Eby's, or Berliner. The second meeting-house 
in Waterloo was built in the vicinity of Preston by John 
Erb, at his expense, after the war of 1812. He was a 
miller by trade, and was not compelled to leave his home 
or family, like the rest of his neighbors, to do public 
service on the frontiers ; therefore determining to do 
something for the general welfare of the community, he 
concluded to build this house of worship. He built it 
free for the use of all denominations without distinction, 
but he had the bitter experience in later years, on several 
occasions, of being locked out of the house which he built 
and paid for, by other denominations. 

What the spiritual condition of the Church was at that 
time cannot be stated at present, because there are no 
letters or journals at hand from which the feelings or de- 


sires of the brethren can be learned; but to judge by 
what can be remembered from the early settlers of 
Waterloo, we might say that only a small portion actually 
tasted or enjoyed the water of life, while many who had 
the appearance of piety had their hearts filled with the 
things of this world, and many could much better tell 
the stories of their dear Pennsylvania fatherland than 
the narratives of the Gospel of Jesus. I wish that this 
remark might not be correct and that I might be taught 
better things in the future, but until then honesty re- 
quires that which I have learned as the truth, even per- 
haps a few who I otherwise would love, might have their 
feelings hurt. 

The war of 1 8 1 2 was a time of trial and affliction for 
the Mennonites in Canada, as they believed they were 
entirely exempt from all military service in Canada. They 
considered it a great wrong, so soon after their arrival, to 
be compelled to' leave their homes and families to do 
public service in the army, while their neighbors, who 
did not understand the doctrine of Christ the same as 
they did, could not see why the Mennonites should not 
be compelled to fight their enemies with the sword, even 
if they personally were their friends. The government 
compelled them to go into the ranks, but could not com- 
pel them to fight. After the government had learned 
this they were employed as teamsters, but they had to 
furnish their own teams. This prepared for them a heavy 
loss in property. Not only did they lose the time which 
they should have had to work on their farms, but in the 
battle on the Thames, where several of the brethren were 
employed as teamsters, the English were compelled to 
retreat; to escape the enemy, the soldiers took the breth- 


ren's horses from their wagons and fled, and the breth- 
ren's wagons fell into the hands of the enemy. They 
thus lost not only their wagons, but also many of their 
horses. After the war they had to go to Pennsylvania to 
get new wagons, and their trials and afflictions can better 
be imagined than described. While the men were ab- 
sent on duty the women and children had to attend to 
the farm work, or would have been in danger of starva- 
tion should the father for any reason not return. Hardly 
had they enjoyed a little rest and peace before another 
affliction was upon them. The summer of 1816 was so 
cold that the crops almost entirely failed. It is said that 
there was frost almost every week through the whole 
summer. Potatoes, the chief article of food among the 
new settlers, failed almost entirely. Food was so scarce 
that many people were compelled to live on soup made of 
bran. The following year was likewise cold, but the 
crops were better. It is said that in 18 17 some people 
worked in the harvest field wearing their overcoats. It 
is to be wondered that they did not leave the cold Canada 
with disgust and select a home in a milder* climate, but it 
appears that the Lord had brought them here for the 
all-wise purpose of carrying out His providential plans. 
Have they fulfilled their mission ? Have they endeavored 
to so spread the doctrine of peace so that the spirit of 
war may not be the ruling power ? 

After this their condition and the Church prospered 
and increased, not only in numbers through the rising 
generation, but also by emigration from Germany as well 
as from Pennsylvania. New meeting-houses were erected 
in different localities, and ministers ordained to take 
charge of the congregations in Waterloo and surrounding 


townships. Among these ministers I will mention 
Scherch and Baer. Both were born and raised under 
laborious burdens and trials of life in a new settlement. 
Bro. Scherch was born in 1801 and is the oldest person 
born in Waterloo yet living (187 1). May the Lord spare 
him yet through many years. Bro. Baer, previously men- 
tioned, was born in the year 1804. Notwithstanding the 
many hardships he had to undergo in his early life, he is 
yet quite strong and robust bodily, but what is far better, 
strong in his religious belief and a true teacher of Christ's 
doctrine, and warning the sinners in their manifold ways. 
He frequently made long journeys to localities where 
there were but few members, for the purpose of preaching 
the Gospel to them. He has all his lifetime been a dili- 
gent student of the Scripture. 

As the membership of the congregation increased the 
more it became necessary to increase the number of min- 
isters and Bishops. During the last few years three 
Bishops were ordained, one in each of the townships of 
Waterloo, Dumfries and Woolwich. Everything seemed 
to prosper until the year 1848, when a dark cloud threat- 
ened the Lincoln Congregation. This storm increased 
and extended itsell until it ended in a separation, not 
only in Lincoln County alone, but also in Waterloo and 
Markham. This split, or separation, has not been healed 
to this day. 

The following is from Col. W. W. H. Davis' History of 
Bucks County, Pennsylvania: 

The First Mennonite Settlers in Canada. 

It is generally considered that the first Mennonites 
emigrated to Canada about the beginning of the year 


1800. We find, however, that Plumstead and the neigh- 
boring townships of Hilltown, Bedminster and Tinicum 
have sent a considerable number of emigrants to Canada 
within the last century, principally Mennonites. The 
immigration commenced in 1786, when John Kulp, Dill- 
man Kulp, Jacob Kulp, Stoffel Kulp, Franklin Albright 
and Frederick Hahn left Bucks County, Pa., and sought 
new homes in the country beyond the great lakes. Those 
who had families were accompanied by their wives and 
children. These pioneers must have returned favorable 
accounts of the country, for in a few years they were 
joined by many of their old friends and neighbors, mostly 
from Bucks County. In 1799 they were followed by 
Jacob Mover, Amos Albright, Valentine Kratz, Dillman 
Moyer, John Hunsberger, George Althouse, Abraham 
Hunsberger and Moses Fretz ; in 1800 by John Fretz, 
Lawrence Hippie, Abraham Grubb, Michael Rittenhouse, 
Manassah Fretz, Daniel High, Jr., Samuel Moyer, David 
Moyer, Jacob High, Jacob Hausser, John Wismer, Jacob 
Frey, Isaac Kulp, Philip High, Abraham High and 
Christian Hunsberger. In 1802, Isaac Wismer and 
Stoffel Angeny went to Canada from Plumstead — the 
latter returned, but the former stayed ; a few years after- 
wards Jacob Gross also moved to Canada. A number 
of the Nash family emigrated to Canada, among whom 
was the widow of Abraham Nash, who died near Dan- 
borough, in 1823. Her three sons, Joseph, Abraham and 
Jacob, and four daughters accompanied her. Bucks 
County families generally settled in what -is now Lincoln 
County, near Lake Ontario, about twenty miles from 
Niagara Falls. 

Visit Among the Mennonites. 

It must be conceded that the disciples of Menno 
Simons have more closely adhered to his teachings in this 
respect than most others. We visited a large number of 
their congregations, and it was a source of satisfaction to 
notice how large a part of those we met with were clothed 
in plain apparel, often strikingly resembling that worn by 
consistent Friends. The similarity was increased by their 
habit of not wearing a beard, so that many of the men 
had far more the appearance of a Quaker minister than 
some who come among us under that profession. 

We found that there are several branches of the Men- 
nonite family, differing from each other mainly in the 
degree of strictness with which they observe the principle 
of nonconformity to the world, to which I suppose they 
all adhere. We made frequent inquiries in regard to the 
point of difference between the various Mennonite non- 
resistant bodies, but were unable to find that there were 
any differences in doctrine. All, so far as we can learn, 
would adopt the Confession of Faith issued by the Con- 
vention of their ministers at Dortrccht, in 1632, as repre- 
senting their present belief. Next in point are the Amish 
Mennonites, who are so named from Jacob Amen, of 
Switzerland, a zealous reformer in their earlier days. 

In Germany the discontent of the peasants under the 
oppression of their feudal lords led to political distur- 



bances, in which Thomas Miintzer, a Lutheran minister, 
who zealously propagated Anabaptist views, became in- 
volved. He attempted to establish by force an ideal 
Christian commonwealth, with absolute equality and a 
community of goods. The defeat of the insurgents and 
the execution ot Miintzer, in 1525, proved only a tempo- 
rary check to the movement. A second and more deter- 
mined attempt to establish a theocracy was made at 
Minister in Westphalia (15 32-1 5 35). The town was 
besieged in 1534 by Count Waldeck, its expelled bishop. 

The supreme authority within its walls was in the 
hands of Johann Bockhold, a tailor of Leyden, better 
known as John of Leyden. Giving himself out as the 
successor of David, he claimed royal honors and absolute 
power in the new " Zion." He justified the most arbi- 
trary and extravagant measures by the authority of vis- 
ions from Heaven. With this pretended sanction he 
legalized polygamy, and himself took four wives, one of 
whom he beheaded with his own hands in the market- 
place, in a fit of frenzy. As a natural consequence of 
such license, Munster was for twelve months a scene of 
unbridled profligacy. After an obstinate resistance it was 
taken by the besiegers, and John and some of his more 
prominent followers were put to death. It would be gross 
injustice to confound these people with other Baptists, or 
with the non-resistant Mennonites, who differ from them 
in many points. 

The customs and character of the Mennonites will be 
further illustrated by a reference to some of the scenes 
and incidents that were witnessed during our visit. The 
first of the meetings which we attended was at Deep 
Run, north of Doylestown, in Bucks County, on third 


month 7th, where several hundred assembled. We found 
a large, plain, one-story building, seated with plain, mov- 
able benches, and provided with a narrow platform on 
one side, elevated one step from the floor, on which was 
a single bench for the ministers. A retiring-room was 
partitioned off at one end ; and this was furnished with 
shelves to receive the bonnets of the sisters, who leave 
them there and enter the main room with their heads 
covered only with simple clear-starched caps, very similar 
to those worn by our plain women Friends. It was an 
interesting spectacle. Bench after bench was filled with 
nice-looking, plainly-dressed women, sitting in a reverent 
manner, a number of them having their infant children 
with them. Many of the men also were plainly dressed, 
and looked like old-fashioned Friends. We were favored 
with a comfortable meeting and warm feelings of affec- 
tionate interest were excited, under the influence of which 
we could greet them as beloved brethren. At Blooming 
Glen meeting-house, in the same county, being some- 
what early, we walked into the graveyard and noticed 
that the graves were arranged in rows, which were not 
parallel to the walls of the inclosure, but extended diag- 
onally across; we found the object was that the bodies 
might be placed in an east and west direction, with the 
feet pointing to the sunrise. — From The Friend, a relig- 
ious and literary journal. 

A Visit Among Russian Mennonites. 

When Stephen Grellet, a minister in the Society of 
Friends, was paying a religious visit in Russia in the 
year 1819, he met with some settlements of Mennonites 
in the southern part of that country. His journal speaks 
of his visit to them as follows : 

" Accompanied by dear Contenius we left Ekaterinos- 
law early in the morning of the 23d of fifth month, 
for the colonies of the Mennonites, on the Dnieper ; we 
came sixty-five versts to the chief village of the fifteen 
that form this part of their settlement. They are an inter- 
esting people ; much simplicity of manner and genuine 
piety appear prevalent amongst them. I felt my mind so 
drawn towards them in the love of Christ, that I appre- 
hended it my duty to endeavor to have a religious meet- 
ing among them. Their Bishop, who resides in this village, 
was sent for by Contenius to consult on the place and 
most proper time to hold the meeting; the dear man, 
who is very plain in his manners and way of living, was 
•at the time in the field behind the plough, for neither 
he nor any of the clergymen receive any salary. They 
maintain themselves and families by their honest industry. 
They are faithful also in the maintenance o£ their testi- 
mony against oaths, public diversions and strong drink. 
The Empire exempts them from military requisitions. 
The Bishop concluded that there was no better or more 



suitable place than their meeting-house, which is large 
and in the centre of the other villages ; the time was fixed 
for the next day, and he undertook to have notice spread. 
At the time appointed they came from all the other vil- 
lages ; the house was crowded with the people and their 
ministers ; much solidity was evinced. The people gath- 
ered at once into such stillness and retiredness of spirit, 
that it seemed as if we were amidst our own friends in 
their religious meetings. I was enlarged among them in 
the Gospel of Christ. Contenius interpreted from the 
French into the German ; dear Allen had an excellent 
communication to them which I first rendered into 
French, and then Contenius into German ; we also had 
access together to the place of prayer, our spirits were 
contrite before the Lord ; the dear children, who also 
felt the Lord's power over them, were in tears. 

" We went thence about thirty-five versts to Kortitz 
Island, in the Dnieper, where we stopped awhile with 
Peter Hildebrand, one of their pious ministers ; we had 
with him and his wife a refreshing season before the Lord. 
Then they accompanied us, in small boats, about eight 
versts down the river to one of their villages below Alex- 
androwsk, where we had that evening a large and satis- 
factory meeting. We felt much concerned for parents in 
that place ; their young people are exposed by being so 
near a city of resorts and temptations. Before we took 
our departure, the next morning, we had a tendering op- 
portunity in the family, where also several others met us. 
Peter Hildebrand's heart was full on parting with us. We 
left with them, as we had done in the other villages, some 
of our books in German. 

" We then traveled sixty-five versts, over what is called 


a steppe, where not even a shrub grows, only coarse 
grass. That night we came to a village of German Luth- 
erans, where are kept beautiful flocks of Merino sheep 
for the use of thirty villages. We had some religious 
service, but we did not find much piety among them. 
Thence we went over the river called Molotschna, which 
divides the settlement of the German colonies from a set- 
tlement of the Mennonites, composed of twenty villages. 
We stopped at their first village, where they have a large 
cloth manufactory; their land is in high cultivation; 
formerly not a tree or shrub was to be seen on these vast 
steppes ; now they have fine orchards of various kinds of 
good fruit. Traveling over these steppes we saw, as we 
thought, at a distance large groves of beautiful trees, and 
to our astonishment the scenery continually changed; at 
first it appeared as if the trees were in motion ; on com- 
ing nearer, we found that they were flocks of cattle feed- 
ing. At other times we thought we saw large sheets of 
water, like lakes ; but all this was an optical delusion, 
caused by the state of the air. 

" The Mennonites here are preserved in much Chris- 
tian simplicity, in their worship, manner of living and 
conversation. They have also a testimony against mak- 
ing the Gospel chargeable, and against wars and oaths. 
I felt it my religious duty to have a meeting amongst 
them. It was agreed to be held in the evening of the 
next day, and the Bishop readily offered to have notice 
of it sent to the villages around — ten in number. 

" In the forenoon \ve had a meeting with the children 
of several villages, collected on the occasion ; their so- 
briety and religious sensibility gave pleasing proofs that 
their parents have not attempted in vain to instruct them, 


by example and pfecept, in a Christian life. We also 
visited with much satisfaction several of their families. 
The meeting in the afternoon was largely attended. The 
Lord owned us by His Divine presence, and gave us an 
evidence that He has here a people whom He graciously 
owns as members of His Church. We afterwards went 
a few versts further, and lodged at an aged couple's ; 
Christians, indeed, they appeared to be ; we were much 
refreshed with them in our bodies and spirits. 

" Next morning we had another meeting with about 
five hundred of their young people. I have rarely met 
more general religious sensibility than among these. I 
had not spoken many sentences when a great brokenness 
and many tears gave evidence of their religious feelings. 
In the afternoon we had a meeting with the people at 
large ; a very satisfactory season. Dear Contenius is a 
faithful helper to us ; he is so feeling in his manner of 
interpreting. After visiting many of these people in their 
families we went to another village, where we had a very 
large meeting. Many of these dear people came to it 
from fifteen different villages round, their meeting-house 
being large. It may be said to have been a holy solem- 
nity ; the Lord's baptizing power was felt to be over us. 

" We then went to Altona, their most distant village, 
which stands pretty near the colonies at the Duhobortzi. 
We put up at the house of a Mennonite, a young man 
who is a minister among them. The order of his family 
and children is most gratifying ; piety seems to prevail 
over them all; the simplicity and neatness of the house 
are beautiful. Much quietness and simplicity is also ap- 
parent in the religious meetings of this people. They are 
very regular and punctual to the hour at which their 


meetings for worship are held. When gathered they all 
kneel. They continue so in total silence, in secret medi- 
tation or prayer about half an hour. After resuming 
their seats, their minister is engaged either in preaching 
or in prayer, both extempore. Before they separate they 
kneel down again, and continue for some time in silent 
prayer. The Emperor grants them every privilege and 
liberty of a civil and religious nature. They choose their 
own magistrates, and are not under the authority of the 
police of the Empire. This is exercised by themselves. 
They are exempt from military requisitions, and have no 
taxes, except those requisite amongst themselves for their 
own government, and they are placed under the superin- 
tendence of those persons who preside over the colonies 
in the Crimea generally. Contenius is the chief person 
on whom that care now devolves." 

For the above account of Stephen Grellet's visit among 
the Russian Mennonites in 1 8 19 we are indebted to the 
kindness of Friend Joseph Walton, of Moorestown, New 
Jersey, editor of The Friend. — Herald of Truth. 

Mrs. Catharine Gabel. 

Mrs. Catharine Gabel celebrated the one hundredth 
anniversary of her birth on December 19th, 1884, and 
the little village of Gabelsville, Berks County, about five 
miles from Pottstown, where she lived for seventy-five 
years, donned its holiday attire and did honor to the oc- 
casion. Many neighbors long living in the vicinity 
walked or drove to the house of the centenarian, while 
the incoming train brought scores of relatives, who 
gathered to do honor to their aged ancestor. 

Under the same roof were assembled five generations 
of the Gabel family, and it is questionable if among the 
vast assemblage there was one who more thoroughly en- 
joyed the occasion than the venerable hostess. Mrs. 
Gabel is the daughter of John High (Hoch), and was 
born December 19th, 1784, on the farm in North 
Coventry, Chester County, now occupied and owned 
by Samuel Stauffer, and situated about two miles and a 
half from Pottstown. She was the eighth of a family of 
eleven children, and lived with her parents until 1803, 
having married, in 1802, John Gabel, a farmer and miller. 
In 1803 she removed with her husband to her present 
home, and has all these years lived on the same property. 
Her husband died in 1823, and a vow made by her a 
few years after his death, when hearing of a second mar- 
riage made by a friend which proved unhappy, that she 



would remain a widow the rest of her life, she has faith- 
fully kept. She bore her husband eleven children, of 
whom eight still live, as follows : Mrs. Elizabeth Gabel, 
wife of Henry Gabel, aged 80 years, and living in Potts- 
grove Township ; Mrs. Magdalena East, aged 78 years, 
of New Berlinville, Berks County ; Henry Gabel, aged 
76 years, and one of this county's most valued and in- 
fluential citizens, living on South Hanover Street, this 
borough ; Mrs. Susan Landes, aged 72 years, living with 
her mother at Gabelsville ; Mrs. Mary Gabel, widow of 
David Gabel, aged 68 years, and living on the old home- 
stead ; Jacob H. Gabel, aged 64 years, a bachelor, living 
with his brother Henry in the borough ; Miss Barbara 
Gabel, aged 62 years, living with her mother. 

Notwithstanding Mrs. Gabel's great age her general 
health is good, and although her memory fails her occa- 
sionally in recalling events of recent occurrence, she 
talks by the hour of events in the early part of this cen- 
tury. Her eyesight, until recently very good, is now 
becoming dimmed. Mrs. Gabel is a tall, muscular woman, 
and up to within a few years always inclined to sparse- 
ness of flesh. 

Of her father's family several other members attained 
good old ages, the mother dying at the age of 90 years 
and a sister at 91 years. The premises upon which Mrs. 
Gabel lives came into the possession of the Gabel family 
in the latter portion of the eighteenth century, her father- 
in-law, Henry Gabel, in conjunction with a half brother, 
Jacob Latshaw, having purchased a large tract of land 
from Thomas Potts. A few years after the joint pur- 
chase a division was made of the property, Mr. Gabel 
retaining that portion upon which was located the family 


mansion of Thomas Potts, where many of the descend- 
ants of the Potts family were born, and known in their 
family records as " Popodickon," after a famous Indian 
king named " Popodick," who is buried under a mag- 
nificent chestnut tree. Mr. Gabel subsequently divided 
his portion between his two sons, Jacob and John, the 
former the husband of Catharine, and to whom was 
assigned the portion upon which the old mansion was 
located, and which Mrs. Gabel occupied from 1803 up to 
1857, when she removed to the house which she has 
occupied ever since. — Philadelphia Press. 

Mrs. Gabel died May 24th, 1886, at the great age of 
101 years, 5 months and 5 days, and is buried at the old 
Mennonite Church at Boyertown, where she had been a 
member for many years. 

Jacob Funk : 

Mennonite Minister at Germantown from 
1774 to 1816. 

Heinrich Funk came to America and settled at the 
Indian Creek, now Franconia Township, Montgomery 
County, Pennsylvania, in the year 17 19. When the 
Franconia Mennonite congregation was organized he 
was chosen their minister, in which capacity he served 
for many years and became very prominent. He died 
in 1760. He made his will June 13th, 1759, which was 
witnessed by Jacob Funk, Jacob Oberholzerand Benedict 
Geman, and his two sons, John Funk and Christian Funk, 
were appointed as his executors. His wife Anne died 
July 8th, 1758. She was a daughter of Christian Meyer. 

His daughter Esther being lame and helpless he set 
aside ,£400 good current money for her maintenance. 
In this case he appointed as directors the elders in the 
Congregation of Christ, named the Mennonites, namely 
Christian Meyer and Michael Dirstein. Henry Funk 
had ten children, four sons and six daughters, viz. : John, 
Christian, Abraham and Henry, Esther, Barbara, Anne, 
Mary, Fronica and Elizabeth. His second son Christian 
was born in 173 1, married in 175 1, and was called to the 
ministry in 1757 in the Mennonite congregation in Fran- 
22 (*vr\ 


conia. He died in 181 1 in his eightieth year, and is 
buried in Delp's graveyard in Franconia. 

On May 16th, 1734, a patent was granted by the 
Honorable the Proprietors of Pennsylvania to Jacob 
Funk, Sr., who emigrated to Pennsylvania shortly be- 
fore. He was a nephew of the above-named Heinrich 
Funk. This patent is recorded in the Roll's Office at 
Philadelphia in Patent Book A, Vol. 6, page 311, etc., for 
one hundred and forty acres, and six per cent, allowed for 
roads, etc., situate in the Township of Franconia, County 
of Philadelphia. Jacob Funk, Sr., made his last will in 
writing, bearing date May 15th, 1756, and bequeathed to 
his son, Jacob Funk, Jr., all that tract of land mentioned 
above under said patent. He says : " I appoint my loving 
friend and cousin, Christian Funk, and my wife, Barbara 
Funk, as my executors." The will was probated June 
14th, 1756, and is registered in Book K, page 407, at 
Philadelphia, and a deed was given by the executors to 
Jacob Funk, Jr., dated April 20th, 1759. The above- 
named will of Jacob Funk, Sr., is witnessed by Christian 
Meyer, Samuel Meyer and Henry Funk. He had four 
children, viz. : two sons, Jacob Funk, Jr., and Samuel 
Funk, and two daughters, Barbara Funk and Maria 

Jacob Funk, Jr., was chosen a minister in the Menno- 
nite congregation at Franconia in 1765.* His name also 
appears on the name list of American ministers in 1770, 
in the Mennonite Archives at Amsterdam, Holland, as a 
minister at Indian Creek. On May 7th, 1774, Jacob 
Funk, Jr., and Anna his wife, of Franconia Township, 
Philadelphia (now Montgomery County), conveyed to 

* See MSS. Congregational Records. 


Andrew Hans their right and title in a tract of land 
situate in Franconia Township, Philadelphia County (now 
Montgomery), recorded in Book No. 9, page 290, at 
Norristown. On March 4th, 1 774, Jacob Funk, Jr., bought 
of Jacob Keyser a tract of land containing 125 acres, and 
shortly afterwards an additional tract of 35 acres, making 
in all 160 acres, situated in Cheltenham Township, now 
Montgomery County. I also find that Jacob Funk, of 
Cheltenham Township, and Anna his (second) wife, late 
widow of Sebastian Benner, released Abraham Benner 
and Christian Benner, said releases bearing date Sep- 
tember 30th, 1774, recorded in Book No. 3, page 485, at 

According to the records of the Germantown Menno- 
nite congregation, Jacob Funk, preacher, and Anna his 
wife connected themselves with the Mennonite Church at 
Germantown in 1774, where he served as a minister for 
forty-two years. He made his last will and testament in 
writing dated September 15th, 1802, which was proven 
April 1 6th, 18 16, and is registered No. 43, Book 4, page 
221, at Norristown, and was witnessed by Michael 
Leppert, John Minnich and Jacob Knorr. He had six 
children, two sons, John and Samuel, and two daughters, 
Barbara and Mary, by his first wife, and two daughters, 
Anna and Elizabeth, by his second wife. Jacob Funk 
was born on the 13th of the third month, 1730, and died 
on the 14th of the third month, 18 16, aged eighty-six 
years and one day, and lies buried near the door of the 
church in the Mennonite graveyard at Germantown. 
His children were : John Funk, married to Catharine 
Knorr, first wife, Margaret Fitzgerald, second wife; 
Samuel Funk, married to Esther Kolb ; Barbara Funk, 


married to Christian Souder; Mary Funk, married to 
David Kelter; Anna Funk, married to Matthias Kolb ; 
Elizabeth Funk, married to Daniel Kolb. 

John Funk, the oldest son of Jacob Funk, Jr., occupied 
the old homestead in Cheltenham after the death of his 
father Jacob. He was a deacon in the Germantown Men- 
nonite congregation for many years. The old farm had 
been in the Funk name and occupied by them about one 
hundred and ten years. On this farm General Murray, 
who lost his life in the battle of Germantown in 1777, lies 
buried in a vault which still exists. Mention is made of it 
in Jacob Funk's will in regard to a division line in divid- 
ing his farm between his two sons, John and Samuel. 
John Funk had five children, viz. : Hannah Funk, married 
Abraham Springer ; John Funk, married Catharine Sling- 
luff; Elizabeth Funk, married Joseph Lenhard; Susanna 
Funk, married Samuel Harmer ; Catharine Funk, married 
Mark Brannan. 

Samuel Funk married Esther Kolb, April 29th, 1788. 
They had eleven children, viz. : Jacob, died single; Isaac, 
died single; Samuel, died single; Anna, married Jesse 
Gilbert, and died in her eighty-ninth year ; Abraham, 
died single; David, married Mary Heiser; Maria, died 
single ; Martin, died single in his eighty-first year ; Daniel, 
died single; Nellie, married John G. Wolf, and died in her 
eightieth year; Wilhelmina died single. 

Christopher Funk settled himself in Germantown. 
He bought fifty acres of land adjoining the Friends' meet- 
ing-house and Main Street in Germantown, on May 10th, 
1726, recorded in the Germantown Book. He had one 
son and five daughters, viz. : Henry Funk ; Elizabeth 
Funk, married to George Kaschke ; Sophia Funk, 


married to Anthony Gilbert; Barbara Funk, married to 
John Keyser; Sarah Funk; Susanna Funk. 

After the death of Christopher Funk his son Henry 
took the old homestead in Germantown, and was to pay 
certain amounts to his sisters, in order to make equal 
shares. Auditors were appointed by the Court, March 
20th, 1749,* and on May 20th, 1750, he sold it again 
to John Keyser, his brother-in-law. It is presumable 
that Christopher Funk was a brother to Heinrich Funk, 
of Indian Creek, by comparing dates and the similarity 
of family names. 

Abraham Funk, a son of Heinrich Funk and brother 
of Christian Funk, of Indian Creek, moved to Springfield 
Township, Bucks County, Pa., and built the mill in 
Springtown known as Funk's Mill from that day to the 
present. Abraham Funk had a son named John Funk, 
who then moved from Springtown to near Dublin, Bucks 
County, Pa., about the year 1 800, and died there when 
about forty-eight years of age. He then had a son 
named Jacob Funk, who also lived in Hilltown Town- 
ship, Bucks County, Pa., the greater part of his life, and 
died at Line Lexington in 1875, and was the father of 
minister John F. Funk, of Elkhart, Indiana, who was 
called to the ministry in the Mennonite church in the 
spring of 1865. He is also the President of the Menno- 
nite Publishing Company at Elkhart, Indiana, and editor 
of the Herald of Truth, published in the interest of the 
Old Mennonite Church. 

* See Germantown Records. 

The Keysers. 

The Keyser family was notable in Europe on account 
of their strict adherence to the doctrine of the Old Evan- 
gelical Church, in consequence of which one of its great 
ancestors, Leonard Keyser, was publicly burned to death 
at the stake, near Scharding, Bavaria, on the 16th day of 
August, 1527. On account of the then raging persecu- 
tion, the family appears to have shifted about from place 
to place, until they settled at Amsterdam, the chief city 
of Holland ; from whence Peter Dirk Keyser emigrated 
to America in 1688, and was one of the original settlers 
of Germantown. 

His marriage certificate I have copied from an old Hol- 
land or Dutch Bible, now in possession of Gideon Key- 
ser, in Germantown, where it is recorded in the language 
of Holland; also in English in the following words: 

"That Dirk Keyser and Joanna Snoeck, upon their de- 
sire after three Sundays having been published at Amster- 
dam in all the churches, on the undersigned date in the 
church at Buiksloot, lawfully and in presence of the 
Lord's congregation are married, declare I, the under- 
signed Secretary at Buiksloot, the 22d November, 1683, 
and was signed. B. Vredenhuis, Secretary. 

This must have been the same Dirk Keyser of whom 
S. W. Pennypacker, Esq., makes mention in his Bio- 



graphical Sketches, p. 41, where he says: "And Dirk Key- 
ser, a silk merchant of Amsterdam, and a Mennonite, 
connected by family ties with the leading Mennonites of 
that city, arrived in Germantown in 1688." He was 
chosen a minister in the Germantown Mennonite congre- 
gation and officiated at the marriage of Jacob Kolb and 
Sarah Van Sintern, May 2d, 1710, in the presence of the 
full congregation, in the old log meeting-house in Ger- 
mantown. His son, Dirk Keyser, Jr., was born in Ger- 
mantown, September 26th, 170 1, who then had a son, 
born August 8th, 1732, named Peter Keyser, who was a 
tanner by occupation, and was the first Keyser who united 
himself with the Dunkards or Brethren. He had a son, 
Peter Keyser, Jr., born November 9th, 1766, who was the 
renowned Dunkard preacher. He was a very tall man, 
being six feet three inches high. He was married March 
30th, 1790, to Catharine Clemens, of Horsham Township, 
Montgomery County. She was the daughter of Garret 
and Keturah Clemens. He died in Germantown, in the 
same house in which he was born, in May, 1849, m ms 
eighty-third year. 

Biography of the Kolbs in America. 

Peter Schumacher came to Germantown in 1685 and 
died in 1707, aged eighty-five years. 

His fifth child, a daughter, married Dielman Kolb. She 
died in 1705, aged fifty-three years, and is buried at Wolfs- 
heim, in the Palatinate. He died in 1712, aged sixty-four 
years, and is buried at Manheim. Their children were: 
Ann Kolb, Peter Kolb, Martin Kolb, Johannes Kolb, Jacob 
Kolb, Dielman Kolb and Henry Kolb. The two first 
named died and were buried in Europe ; the other five came 
to America about the year 1707, with the exception of Diel- 
man, who came later, between 17 10 and 1720. Peter, 
Martin, Dielman and Henry were Mennonite ministers. 

Ann Kolb, born 1676, married Balthasar Kolb. She 
died February 26th, 1738, at Wolfsheim. 

Martin Kolb, born 1680, married May 19th, 1709, in 
the house of his bride's father, Magdalena, daughter of 
Isaac Van Sintern, born September 4th, 1662, and was a 
great-grandson of Jan de Voss, a burgomaster at Hand- 
schooten, in Flanders, about 1550. He married in Am- 
sterdam, Cornelia Claassen, of Hamburg, and came to 
Pennsylvania with four daughters after 1687. He died 
August 23d, 1737, and is buried at Skippack. Martin 
Kolb had seven children, five daughters and two sons — 
Dielman and Isaac. 

Dielman married Wilhelmina Rittenhouse, a first cousin 


of David Rittenhouse, the astronomer, and daughter of 
Henry Rittenhouse and great-granddaughter of Willem 
Rittenhouse, the first Mennonite minister and Bishop in 
Germantown, also the first in America. Dielman had 
eight children, as follows: Esther, married to Samuel 
Funk; Magdalena, married to Isaac Cassel, minister; 
Wilhelmina, married to Dirk Keyser; Henry, married to 
Esther Metz; Daniel, married to Elizabeth Funk; Mat- 
thias, married to Anna Funk; Martin, died single; Isaac, 

moved to Maryland, and married Kiser. Their 

descendants are now numerous in Chester, Montgomery 
and Philadelphia Counties, also in Maryland. 

Jacob Kolb, born May 2ist, 1685, married to Sarah 
Van Sintern (a sister to Magdalena, Martin's wife), May 
2d, 1710, in the presence of the full congregation, in the 
Mennonite church at Germantown, by Dirk Keyser. 
They had nine children, six daughters and three sons — 
Isaac, Henrich and Dielman. 

Isaac was generally called " der grosse Isaac," or " der 
sehr starke Mann." 

Henrich, the second son of Jacob, married Elizabeth 
Cassel, May 10th, 1744. Their first son, Jacob, born 
March 2d, 1745, was the grandfather of Henry Kolb, at 
the Branch Creek, in Upper Salford, Montgomery County, 
now deacon (Vorsteher) in the Salford Mennonite con- 
gregation. Their fourth son, Yelles, was the father of 
Joseph Kolb. Their sixth son, Isaac, lived at North 
Wales, and was the father-in-law of Hubert Cassel and 
grandfather of big Jesse Cassel, of Franconia, and Isaac 
Cassel, at Kulpsville. 

It appears by examining records and dates, that Isaac 
had a son named Isaac, or Isaac the younger, who died in 


1862, at the great age of eighty-two years, and was the 
father of several children, now landholders in that vicinity 
His wife was a Miss Hoxworth, sister of the wife of Benja- 
min Hancock, of Norristown, father of General Hancock. 
This is how the present Kulp family is related to that 
distinguished commander, General Winfield Scott Han- 
cock, late Democratic candidate for President. 

A number of the Kulps are yet living in Gwynedd. 
John B. Kulp, who died several years ago, and his sister, 
Mary B. Kulp, are both buried at Germantown, in the 
Mennonite graveyard. Their parents are also buried 
there. John B. Kulp provided in his will that "five hun- 
dred dollars" should be paid, clear of all taxes and other 
charges, to the Society of Mennonites at Germantown in 
trust, to be invested forever, and the interest to be used 
to keep in repair and in order the graves of his and his 
late father and brother. His estate was settled April 1st, 
1885, by Algernon S. Jenkins, executor, and the money 
paid over to Daniel K. Cassel, Treasurer of the Board of 
Trustees of the Society of Mennonites at Germantown, 
and by him invested in real estate on mortgage, in trust 
for the Society. 

Jacob Kolb the first, Martin's brother, lived in Skip- 
pack. An obituary notice of him says : " On the 4th in- 
stant (October, 1739) Jacob Kolb, of Skippack, as he 
was pressing cider, the beam of the press fell on one side 
of his head and shoulder, and wounded him so that he 
languished about half an hour, and then died, to the ex- 
ceeding grief of his relatives and family, who are numer- 
ous, and concern of his friends and neighbors, among 
whom he lived many years in great esteem ; aged fifty-five 


Of Johannes Kolb, a brother of Martin, we have no re- 
liable records. 

Henry Kolb came to America with his brothers, Mar- 
tin and Jacob. He died in 1 730, leaving a family of seven 
children, three sons and four daughters, viz. : Peter Kulp, 
David Kulp, Tielman Kulp, Mary Karsdorp, Dorithy 
Gotshalk, Annie Swarts and Agnes Kulp. Peter died in 
1748. Jacob was the eldest son of Peter, born March 
7th, 1740; he died June 28th, 18 18, aged 78 years. His 
bones lie away in the Mennonite churchyard, at Kulps- 
ville, Montgomery County, Pa. His marriage certificate, 
dated November 6th, 1766, states that he was a resident 
of Whitepain Township, County of Philadelphia, in the 
Province of Pennsylvania, It is in the possession of 
George B. Kulp, member of the Bar of Wilkesbarre, Lu- 
zerne County, Pa., and is a remarkably well-preserved 
document, which is historically interesting, and com- 
mences as follows: 

" Whereas, Jacob Kulp, of the Township of Whitepain, 
in the County of Philadelphia, in the Province of Penn- 
sylvania, and Mary Cleamans, daughter of Abraham 
Cleamans, of Lower Salford, in the County and Province 
aforesaid, having published their intentions of marriage 
with each other, according to law in that case provided," 
etc., with thirteen names attached as witnesses, some written 
in German. 

The above-named Jacob Kulp had three sons and five 
daughters, viz.: Abraham, Jacob, David, Elizabeth, inter- 
married with Lloyd; Catharine, married to Abra- 
ham Sellers ; Mary, married to David Reiner (father of 
Jacob K. Reiner, minister of the Dunkards or Brethren); 
Susanna, married to Christian Stover, and Nancy, mar- 
ried to John Snare. 


Abraham Kulp, the eldest son of Jacob, was born July 
19th, 1770. His first wife, the grandmother of George B. 
Kulp, was Barbara Sellers. His second wife was Eliza- 
beth, daughter of Daniel Wampole. Abraham died Feb- 
ruary nth, 1847, near Linden, Lycoming County, Pa. 
His only son by his first wife is Elder Jacob S. Kulp, of 
Pleasant Hill, Mercer County, Ky. 

David C. Kulp, a brother ol Abraham, was one of the 
most prominent and distinguished men of his native 
County of Montgomery. He was a Justice of the Peace 
in the County named for over forty years, and also held 
the positions of Treasurer, Auditor, Commissioner and 
other County offices, all acceptably to the people he 

Dielman Kolb, a brother of Martin, came from Man- 
heim, where he attended as a preacher to the Mennonite 
congregation, "making himself most valuable by receiv- 
ing and lodging his fellow-believers who had to flee from 
Switzerland," as appears from a letter dated August 27th, 
1 7 10. He settled himself in Salford, now Montgomery 
County, where he purchased at different times about 500 
acres of land. He married widow Snavely, and had by 
her one daughter named Elizabeth, who was afterwards 
married to Andrew Ziegler, son of Michael Zietjler a 
Mennonite minister at Skippack. 

Dielman Kolb appears to have been prominent in the 
affairs of the Mennonite Church. He was very intimate 
with Henry Funk, also a minister and Bishop of the Men- 
nonite faith. It was through the perseverance and zeal 
of those two men that the Mennonite congregation in 
Salford was organized in 1738. Dielman Kolb and 
Heinrich Funk were appointed a committee by the Men- 


nonites to arrange and supervise the translation of the 
.Martyrs' Mirror from the Dutch to the German language. 

It was through the influence of Dielman Kolb that 
Christopher Dock was induced to write his method of 
keeping school, which was afterwards printed by Christo- 
pher Saur. 

On the 8th of July, 1748, Dielman Kolb made his last 
will and testament, in writing, and he must have lived 
nine years after that, for his will was not proved before 
April 30th, 1757. His witnesses were Robert Jones, 
Martin Kolb and Jacob Kolb; his executors were his 
widow, Elizabeth Kolb, and his son-in-law, Andrew 

The Kolbs, as already stated, were among the leaders 
of the Mennonite Church. All the Kolbs or Kulps of 
the older time lent their efforts to good works, and from 
the earliest settlement of the Germans in Pennsylvania to 
the present time there has been a large number of Men- 
nonite preachers of the name of Kulp, particularly in the 
Counties of Bucks and Montgomery, in this State. 

Jacob Kolb, Martin's brother, had a son Heinrich, born 
September 26th, 1721, who was married to Elizabeth 
Cassel, May 10th, 1744. 

From Jacob Kolb's family Bible, which he bought Feb- 
ruary 28th, 1728, we have the following: 

Mother died February 7th, 1705. 

Father Dielman Kolb died October 13th, 171 2. 

Mother-in-law Neltgan Van Sintern died May 29th, 


My father-in-law, Isaac Van Sintern, died August 23d, 

Jacob Kolb born May 21st, 1685, died at the age of 54 

years, 4 months, 1 3 days. 


My wife was born January 6th, 1690, died at the age 
of 76 years 2 months 15 or 16 days. 

Isaac Kolb, a son of Dielman and Wilhelmina Kolb, as 
stated above, moved to Maryland, in the vicinity of Fred- 
crick City, and married a Miss Kiser, by whom he had 
three sons, named David, Samuel and Matthias, and two 
daughters; their Christian names I could not obtain. 
One married Isaac Meach, the other Samuel Franer — 
both Pennsylvanians. Isaac died August 30th, 1828, and 
is buried in the burying-ground near Utica Mills, in 
Frederick County, Maryland. Both daughters moved 
West and died there, and we have no accounts or record. 

David Kolb was born in 1793; died in 1862 ; was mar- 
ried to Elizabeth Caston, of Pennsylvania. June 13th, 
181 3 ; she died about 1826. 

His children by the first wife were : David Ritten- 
house Kolb, John Wesley Kolb, Samuel Kolb, Susan 
Kolb, Catharine Kolb. 

By the second wife, Magdalena Staup: George W. 
Kolb, James T. Kolb, Martin L. Kolb, Charles Kolb, 
Isaac Kolb, Ann Kolb, Elenora Kolb. 

John Wesley Kolb, a son of David, married Eliza 
Hitchew, March 14th, 1847. Their children were: John 
David Kolb, Oliver Grason Kolb, Calvin Wesley Kolb, 
Laura Virginia Kolb, Mars Alice Kolb, Susan Elizabeth 
Kolb, two of whom are married. 

Matthias Kolb's children were: Josiah Kolb, Reuben 
Kolb, William Kolb, Michael Kolb, Mary Ann Kolb. 

Samuel Kolb, son of Isaac, died single, in the State 
of Ohio. 

Cassel Family in America. 

Yillis Kassel came to Pennsylvania in the year 1727, 
and was a preacher at Skippack and one of the represen- 
tative men of the Church. His father, Yillis Kassel, was 
also a Mennonite preacher at Kriesheim in 1665, and 
wrote a confession of faith and a number of MS. poems, 
which are now in the possession of his descendant, 
Abraham H. Cassel, of Harleysville, the noted antiquary. 
They describe very vividly the horrible condition of the 
Rhine country at that time, and the sufferings of the 
people of his faith. The composition was frequently 
interrupted by such entries as these : "And now we must 
flee again to Worms." " In Kriesheim, to which we have 
again come home." 

From one of them is extracted the following : 

"Denn es ist bekannt und offenbar, 
Was Jammer, Elend und Gefahr 
Gewesen ist umher im Land. 
Mit Rauben, Pliindern, Mord und Brand, 
Manch Mensch gebracht in Angst und Noth, 
Geschandeliert auch bis zum Tod. 
Zerschlagen, verhauen manch schones Haus, 
Vielen Leuten die Kleider gezogen aus ; 
Getreid und Vieh hinweggefiihrt, 
Viel Jammer und Klag hat man gehort." 

A copy of the first German edition of Menno Simons' 
Foundation (1575), which belonged to the younger Yillis, 



and is, so far as known, the only copy in America, is now 
in the library of Abraham H. Cassel. 

Yillis Kassel was born before 1618 and died after 1681. 

Johannes Kassel, a weaver, with Mary, his wife, and 
five children, viz. : Arnold, Peter, Elizabeth, Mary and 
Sarah, Germans from Kriesheim, came over by way of 
London in the ship Jeffries, and landed at Philadelphia 
on the 20th of November, 1686, and died April 17th, 
1 69 1. His son, Arnold, married Susannah Delaplaine 
in 1693, 9th day of April. She was the daughter of Nico- 
laes Delaplaine.* Arnold was Recorder in Germantown 
during 1692 and 1693. There is a number of old deeds 
in existence in Germantown with Arnold KasseFs name 
as Recorder, and his brother, Peter Kassel, was "Aus- 
rufer" (town-crier) in 1695 and 1696. Arnold had eight 
children, five sons and three daughters : Johannes, Daniel 
(died young), Arnold, Jr., Nicholas, Daniel, Veronica, 
Susannah and Elizabeth. 

Hupert Cassel, a weaver by trade, then a single young 
man, emigrated to this country about the year 171 5 or 
1720 from the Palatinate. On his arrival in America he 
stopped at Germantown, and during his stay there he 
hired his services to different individuals both as a hus- 
bandman and weaver, until he became acquainted with a 
Dutch girl (a native of Holland), whose Christian name 
was Psyche, with whom he afterwards joined in the holy 
bonds of matrimony. The above-named Hupert Cassel 
occupied afterwards about one hundred and fifty acres 
of land in what is now Skippack, Montgomery County, 
Pa., which he bought from Dirk Renberg on the 16th 

* See Notes of Walter Cresson. 


day of November, 1725, which was constantly occupied 
by his descendants until the year 1855, a period of about 
one hundred and thirty years. The last occupant of the 
Cassels was Samuel, son of Henry Cassel, who died 
without issue. 

On October 16th, 1727, Hies or Yelles, and Johannes 
Cassel, brothers of the aforesaid Hupert, arrived. Yelles 
and Johannes then lived with Hupert, who received them 
with kindness. Johannes soon afterward moved to Lan- 
caster. The above-named Yelles was a noted preacher 
among the Mennonites in Skippack. The father of this 
Yelles, John and Hupert was also named Yelles. He 
was a very pious and talented man and a pretty good 
poet, as numerous pieces, in the possesion of Abraham 
H. Cassel, the antiquarian at Harleysville, will testify. 
He appears to have been the brother of the above-named 
Johannes Cassel, which will make him our ancestor's 
(Hupert Cassel's) uncle, as above stated, and accounts for 
the perpetuation of the name, but he was very sickly, 
and died in Germany just about the time that Johannes 

The above-named Hupert Cassel had five children, 
viz.: Yelles; Abraham, married Catharine Oberholzer(P); 
Magdalena, married Nicholas Halteman, no issue; 
Henry, died single, 1807 ; Mary, no record. 

Yelles Cassel 1 had six children, viz. : Hupert, grand- 
father of A. H. Cassel, of Harleysville, married Magda- 
lena Jantz, daughter of Nicholas Jantz, or Claes Jansen ; 
Barbara, married Isaac Wisler ; Christian, married Susie 
Henrich ; Henry ; Elizabeth, married a Benner (not pos- 
itive) ; Abraham, 2 married Feige Grimly. 

Abraham 2 had five children, as follows ; Jacob, 3 married 


Susanna Clemens ; Catharine, married Abraham Haas ; 
Elizabeth, married John Reiff (no issue) ; Mary, married 
Jacob Kline; Magdalena, married Henry Musselman. 

Jacob Cassel, 3 son of Abraham Cassel, married Susanna 
Clemens, daughter of Abraham Clemens and Catharine 
(Bachman) his wife, and granddaughter of Gerhard 
Clemens, who arrived in America and settled in the 
neighborhood of the present village of Lederachsville 
prior to 17 12. 

Jacob Cassel 3 and Susanna had seven children, viz. : 
Abraham, born March 15th, 1782, married Polly Bean; 
Catharine, born March nth, 1784, married Jacob Bergey; 
Elizabeth, born February 22d, 1786, married Abraham 
Kratz; Mary, born October 17th, 1789, married Samuel 
Bergey ; Jacob, 4 born July 5th, 1792, married Wilhelmina 
Kulp ; John, born November 18th, 1794, married Sallie 
Bean; Susanna, born September nth, 1799, married 
Daniel Pennypacker. 

Jacob Cassel 4 had four children, viz.: Daniel, 5 born 
April 22d, 1820, married Elizabeth Kulp; Abraham, 
born March, 20th, 1822, married Mary Kulp; Samuel, 
born July 20th, 1826, married Elisabeth Hendricks; 
Jacob, M.D., born November 13th, 1834, married Kate 
Weeks; Daniel, 5 author of this work. 

There was also a Heinrich Cassel, who was of con- 
siderable note in Germany, who with some of the other 
Cassels first worshiped with the Quakers, because they 
had no church or congregation, but in 1708 he identified 
himself with the Mennonites again. He was also of the 
same family as Johannes and Yelles, Sr. 

Hupert Cassel (probably a son of Yelles Cassel and 
brother of Abraham Cassel, as the records appear), a 


joiner by trade, bought a tract of land containing about 
one hundred and six acres in Hilltown Township, Bucks 
County, Pa., in 1758. He was married to Susanna 
Schwartz, a sister of Abraham Schwartz, who was the 
first Mennonite minister at Deep Run, Bucks County, 
Pa. It appears that Hupcrt Cassel had two brothers liv- 
ing in Skippack, Montgomery County, viz. : Abraham 
and Isaac. 

It further appears that Hupert Cassel had only four 
children, viz. : Barbara, married to Dillman Kolb, father of 
Bishop Jacob Kolb, of Hatfield Township, Montgomery 
County, Pa. ; Molly Cassel was married to Gottschall Gott- 
schall, of Lower Salford Township, Montgomery County, 
Pa. ; Elizabeth Cassel to Joseph Mangle, and Isaac Cassel 
to Catherine Trumbore. Abraham Cassel, brother of 
Hupert, resided in Skippack, Montgomery County, Pa. 

Isaac Cassel, also a brother of Hupert, was a Men- 
nonite minister, and officiated in Skippack and German- 
town. He was married to Magdalena Kolb, daughter of 
Dielman and Wilhelmina Kolb. Their children were 
Abraham, Jacob, Susanna and Catharine. 

For further information of Johannes Cassel, who settled 
at Columbia, Lancaster County, Pa., mentioned in the be- 
ginning of this sketch, see Biographical History of Lan- 
caster County. 

Abraham H. Cassel, the self-taught scholar and noted 
antiquarian of Harleysville, Montgomery County, Pa., 
the son of Yelles Cassel and grandson of Hupert Cassel, 
of Towamencin Township, Montgomery County, Pa., has 
an extensive collection of very rare and valuable books, 
pamphlets and Colonial documents, etc., many of which 
could not be found elsewhere. Among many other 


rarities he has about fifty different editions of old Bibles 
in their various translations. A number of them are 
over three hundred years old, and among them is the 
very rare Uraltc Deutsche Bibel, bearing date 1470-73, 
said to have been printed from wooden blocks, mov- 
able types not then being in use, leaving blank spaces 
for the capitals, which were afterwards inserted with a 
pen and red ink. This whole Bible was completed about 
ten years before Martin Luther was born, and about fifty 
years before he made any attempt at translating it, but 
Luther still has the honor of having given the first Ger- 
man Bible to the world. Mr. Cassel has also a very fine 
copy of the first edition of King James' English Bible, 
printed in the Gothic, or old English black letter, and an 
English translation of the ancient Jewish, or Massoretic 
Bible, also the Mormon Bible by Joe Smith, the seer, 
and the Pentapla or five translation Bible, besides al- 
most innumerable other matters of interest that cannot 
here be mentioned. 

According to records it appears that Johannes Cassel, 
a brother of Yillis, the preacher at Kriesheim, and uncle 
of Hupert Cassel, who came over in 171 5, shortly after his 
arrival moved to Lancaster County and settled in the 
vicinity of Columbia. It also appears that his son, 
Abraham, moved to Sporting Hill, then a wilderness. 
Here Abraham Cassel the second was born on the 1 8th 
of April, 1775; his oldest son, Henry Cassel, was born 
March 12th, 1776. In after years he located at Marietta. 
He was one of the leading men of that place, and was 
President of the old Marietta Bank. He had three chil- 
dren ; the youngest, A. N. Cassel, was a member of the 
Legislature in 1838 and 1839, and was afterwards one 
of the most honored citizens of Marietta. 


Abraham Cassel, the youngest of these three children, 
owned a farm in Rapho Township, the old homestead. 
He was a sound and practical thinker, and served in 
several public positions. He had three sons and two 
daughters. The oldest son, Dr. John H. Cassel, studied 
medicine with Dr. Washington L. Atlee, and afterwards 
located at Pittsburgh. 

An incident occurred shortly after the arrival of the 
Cassels at Germantown, which we find recorded in Harris 1 
Biographical History of Lancaster. They were members 
of the Mennonite church at Germantown, and the in- 
cident will show, in a very striking manner, the sim- 
plicity of the Church at that time. A letter came from 
Europe to the Cassels that a large legacy was left them 
by the death of a relative, amounting to nearly a million 
dollars, and that they should send out and get the 
treasure. A Church council was called and the matter 
freely discussed, when it was decided by a unanimous 
vote not to receive the money, as it would have a ten- 
dency to make them proud. Simplicity of manner, plain- 
ness of dress, frugality, honesty and economy were some 
of the characteristics of this people. 

Gerhard Roosen. 

Mennonite Minister of the Hamburg Altona Con- 
gregation, Born 1612, died 1711. 

His first ancestor known to us was Kord Roosen, who 
lived in Kassembrook, now Prussia, Rhine Province, 
before Menno Simons renounced the Catholic faith. 
There were many at that time who advocated the doc- 
trine of adult baptism, and Kord Roosen was one of 
them. It is said that his parents were Waldenses, which 
sect was numerous in that province, and in the vicinity 
of Koln, in the latter part of the fourteenth century, and 
that many families of the Hamburg and Altona Mennonite 
congregation were also of Waldens origin. Be that as it 
may, Kord Roosen had four children by his first wife, 
three sons and one daughter, but we have not the dates 
of their birth. 

In the year 1 53 1 he married his second wife ; her parents 
were Catholics. By her he had one son, who was named 
Geerlink Roosen, but before this son was born, Kord 
Roosen was compelled to choose either to join the 
Catholic Church or leave wife and home. He remained 
true to his faith, and chose the latter, and fled with his 
four children, the two youngest being so young that he 
had to carry them the greater part of the way, a distance 
of about sixty miles. The whole journey he made on 



foot, and settled in Holstein, in the year 1532,111 the 
vicinity of Liibeck, and commenced to manufacture 
powder. His wife, who was not permitted by her 
Catholic parents to accompany him, stayed at home, 
against her and his will, but she never forgot him. His 
son Geerlink, who was born shortly after his flight, was 
nearly grown up when his mother and her parents died. 
Young Geerlink Roosen then made up his mind to go 
to his father; so he left his home in the year 1554, at the 
age of about twenty-two years, but when he arrived he 
found that his father had died about six months before 
his arrival. But he stayed with his half-brothers and 
half-sister, who were all living at a place called Steen- 
rade. In 1563 Geerlink Roosen married a Mennonite 
widow, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Van Sintern, 
in the vicinity of Meierhofe Holzkamp. Geerlink Roosen 
then leased the above-named place and lived there, and 
died in the year 161 1. He had five children. The oldest 
son remained on the premises, so the place was in the 
Roosen name over one hundred years. 

Paul Roosen, the youngest son of Geerlink Roosen, 
was born in 1582. He was a tanner by trade, at Oldes- 
loe. He was a Mennonite, and a member in the Fries- 
enburg congregation, and in 161 1 he moved to Altona 
and continued the tannery business and prospered. He 
had a place of his own, and also owned a warehouse in 
Hamburg. Altona was not a place of much note until 
1 60 1, when the Mennonites and German Reformed 
settled there, and started into business, when the place 
began to improve, so that in 1604 it was incorporated 
into a borough. Paul Roosen must have been a promi- 
nent man. He was the first deacon (Vorsteher) in the 


new Mennonite congregation at Altona; he gave the 
congregation the privilege of building a church on his 
own ground, which is the same place on which the first 
Altona Mennonite preacher, Francois Noe, built his 
house. The Altona Mennonite church still stands on 
the same ground. 

Gerhard Roosen, son of Paul Roosen, was born on 
the 8th day of March, 16 12, between five and six 
o'clock in the morning. His mother (Hanchen) Han- 
nah was the daughter of Hans Quins, the first Mennonite 
in Hamburg who had to flee from Brabant in 1 570. 
Gerhard Roosen often spoke of his grandmother Eliza- 
beth, Geerlink Roosen's widow, who was eighty-nine 
years old when she died, and had been personally ac- 
quainted with Menno Simons, and frequently heard him 
preach. Gee r hard Roosen was personally acquainted 
with an old minister who moved to Altona from the 
Friesenburg congregation, who was ordained as a Bishop 
by Menno Simons, and was the third minister in the 
Altona congregation. 

Paul Roosen, Gerhard's father, died February 27th, 
1649, at the age of about sixty-seven years, and Gerhard 
was selected a deacon (Vorsteher) in his father's place. 
In his forty-ninth year he was called to the ministry, and 
on the 15th of April, 1660, he preached his first sermon, 
text, Micah6: 8. On the 6th of July, 1663, Gerhard 
Roosen was installed a Bishop by Bastiaan Van Weeni- 
gen, a Bishop from Rotterdam, and on the 20th of March, 
1664, he held his first baptismal service and baptized 
eleven persons, when he selected for his text Matthew 
28: 18-20. Eight days later he held his preparatory 
sermon and chose for his text 1 Cor. 5:7; eight days 


after that he administered Holy Communion and preached 
from the text 1 Cor. 11 : 23. In his ninetieth year he 
signed a letter with three other ministers, namely, Pieter 
Van Helle, Jacob Van Kampen and Jean de Lanoi, in- 
structing the brethren at Germantown, Pennsylvania, to 
ordain Willem Rittenhouse as Bishop of the Germantown 

Gerhard Roosen died November 20th, 171 1, aged 99 
years S}4 months. He had the good of the congre- 
gation at heart, and therefore recommended Heinrich 
Teunis de Jager, who was chosen as preacher in the 
Hamburg Altona congregation, July 12th, 171 1, to the 
great satisfaction of Gerhard Roosen, as his successor. 
In the year 1702, when Gerhard Roosen was in his 
ninetieth year, we see, as, proof of his fidelity to the 
Church, how he had the welfare of the Altona congre- 
gation at heart, as he manifested great interest in getting 
an honest and God-fearing Christian man as one of his 
followers. Such a man he found in Jacob Denner, son 
of Balthaser Denner, a Mennonite minister, who died in 
Hamburg, December 15th, 168 1, in his fifty-seventh 

Jacob Denner wrote a large work called " Denner's 
(Predigten) Sermons," containing 1,502 pages, a copy of 
which is now in my possession, printed at " Frankenthal 
am Rhein" in 1792 ; his introduction to it is dated No- 
vember, 1730. He was born September 20th, 1659, at 
Hamburg. He was chosen a minister of the Altona 
congregation, September 29th, 1684, and remained in 
Altona till 17 14, when, after the great fire, he lived at 
Friedrichstadt ; in 171 5 he moved again to Altona, 
where he remained and preached his last sermon, in the 


latter part of 1745, not quite two months before he died, 
which was on the 17th of February, 1746, at the age of 
86 years 4 months and 22 days. It is believed that he 
read the Bible through more than fifty times, besides 
reading many of the best theological works he could 
procure. — Berend Karl Roosen. 

A Biographical Sketch of the Ritten- 

In Holland they were called Ruddmghuysen, Ritten- 
husius and Rittenhausen, finally in this country Ritten- 

In 1688 Willem, Wilhelm or William Rittenhouse, his 
wife, two sons, Claus, Klaus or Nicholas and Gerhard, 
Gerrit, and a daughter named Elizabeth arrived in Ger- 
mantown from New Amsterdam (New York), where they 
lived a short time only. Barton, in his History of David 
Rittenhouse, says he came from Arnheim prior to 1674 
and settled in New Amsterdam, which must be an error, 
because the following records show that he was yet in 
Amsterdam in 1678. He built the first paper-mill in 
America in 1690, on a branch of the Wissahickon, in 
Roxborough Township, Philadelphia, near Germantown. 
He was elected the first Mennonite minister in the Ger- 
mantown congregation; afterwards, in 1701, he was 
ordained Bishop in the same congregation. It appears 
from a letter in the Mennonite archives in Amsterdam, 
that he endeavored to have the Confession of Faith trans- 
lated into English and printed by Bradford. He was 
born in 1644, and died in 1708, aged sixty-four years. 

His daughter Elizabeth married Heivert Papen, who 
came from Kriesheim in 1685. He declined to be Bur- 



gess of the Borough of Germantown in 1701 on account 
of conscientious scruples. 

On the opposite page is a fac-simile copy of the " Oath 
of Citizenship " of Willem Ruddinghuysen subscribed at 
Amsterdam June 23d, 1678, taken from the original copy 
printed on parchment now in the possession of Hon. 
Horatio Gates' Jones, of Roxborough, Philadelphia, to 
whom I am greatly indebted for the use of it. It is 
printed in the Holland or Dutch language. 

Translated into English it reads as follows : 


You do swear that you will be a good and true citizen 
of this city, and be subject to the Burgomasters and 
rulers, and take part in watches, beats and other protec- 
tions and burdens of this city ; and that you will apprize 
them of any threatening danger of which you may be in- 
formed ; and that you will, by advice and act, further 
its welfare to the utmost of your power ; and that you 
will perform and omit all that a good citizen should per- 
form and omit. 

So truly may God Almighty help you. 

Willem Ruddinghuysen Van Miilheim, papermaker, 
took the above-mentioned oath and paid the citizen fee 
to the gentleman of the Treasury. 

Done in Amsterdam the 23d day of June, 1678. 

J. Geelrinck. 

The above document conclusively proves that he was 
not a Mennonite at the time, for had such been the case 
he most decidedly would not have affirmed such an oath 
as the above, but have limited himself to a vow or a 
promise. It may be that he joined one of the congrega- 

r-r r~D 


tions in Amsterdam later on, or perhaps after he came to 

Nicholas Rittenhouse, a son of William, was born June 
15th, 1666; married Wilhelmina Dewees, and died in 1734, 
aged sixty-eight years. He was also a Mennonite minister 
at Germantown, ordained as such shortly after the death 
of his father. He had seven children, viz.: William, 
Henry and Matthias, Psyche, Mary, Catharine and 

William, the first son of Nicholas, had a son named 
Nicholas, born in 17 19, who had a son, Martin, born 
February 12th, 1747, old style, who had a son, Nicholas, 
born July 2d, 1774, who had a son, Nicholas, Jr., born 
October 20th, 1806, who is yet living (1887) in Roxbor- 
ough, Philadelphia, and in his eighty-first year, a near 
neighbor of his esteemed friend, Hon. Horatio Gates 
Jones, a Vice-President of the Historical Society of 
Pennsylvania, to whom I am indebted for valuable in- 

Gerrit, or Gerhard, had the paper-mill after the death 
of his father. Afterward Jacob, a son of Gerhard, owned 
the mill. 

Henry, the second son of Nicholas, had one daughter 
only, and several sons, of whom I have no record. The 
daughter, Wilhelmina, born August 5th, 1721, died May 
5th, 1 79 1, aged 69 years 9 months, was married to Diel- 
man Kolb, who was born March 2d, 1719, and died Oc- 
tober 19th, 1799, aged 80 years 5 months and 6 days. 
Both are buried at Skippack Mennonite Church, Mont- 
gomery County, Pennsylvania. For their children see 
Biography of the Kolbs in America. 

Matthias, the third son of Nicholas, was born in 1703; 


and in 1727 married Elizabeth Williams, the daughter of 
a native of Wales. Matthias was the father of David 
Rittenhouse, the philosopher, who was born April 8th, 
1732, and on February 20th, 1766, married Eleanor 
Colston. She died December, 1770, and in December, 
1772, he married Hannah Jacobs, his second wife. He 
died June 26th, 1796, aged 64 years 2 months and 18 
days. Among Matthias' three elder children, David was 
the eldest who survived the age of infancy. The house 
in which David Rittenhouse was born is still standing 
(1887), right back of the Rittenhouse Baptist Chapel. It 
was built in 1707, as appears from the date-stone in the 
gable end. 

A monument of granite, about twelve feet high, was 
erected to his memory a few years ago in the court- 
house yard at Norristown, Montgomery County, Penn- 

In 175 1, Thomas Barton, of Lancaster County, Penn- 
sylvania, an alumnus of Trinity College, Dublin, who 
afterwards married the sister of David Rittenhouse, and 
became a Professor in the University of Pennsylvania, 
supplied him with books, and taught him Latin and 

Emigration of the Stauffers to America. 

The original " Vaterland " of the Stauffers was Switzer- 
land. According to tradition they owe their origin to a 
generation of Knights called Stauffacher, at Hoen- 
stauffen, who, at the time of the freeing of Switzerland 
by William Tell, were wealthy farmers and rendered 
great assistance. Definite information only is given as 
far back as Hans Stauffer, son of Daniel Stauffer. Hans 
was married in Switzerland in the year 1685, to a widow 
named Kinget Heistand (who was first married to Michael 
Risser). He was a Mennonite, and was driven out of 
Switzerland shortly after his marriage by the followers of 
Zwingli, on account of his religious faith. He fled to 
the Palatinate and had to leave his father behind. 

On November 5th, 1709, he started with his family on 
his great journey, by way of London, to America. After 
many hindrances on his journey he landed in London 
on the 20th of January, 17 10. Further we have no 
record, except that they had a stormy passage. They 
landed in America in the Spring of the same year, and 
settled in the vicinity of Valley Forge, in Chester County, 
Pennsylvania. His family consisted of eight persons : 
himself and wife, three sons, Jacob thirteen, Daniel 
twelve and Henry nine years old ; and one daughter, 
Elizabeth, who was married to Paul Friedt, and one child, 
Maria. The sons afterwards bought large tracts of land 



in the vicinity of Colebrookdale, Berks County, Pennsyl- 
vania, which was at that time almost a wilderness. 

The Stauffer descendants multiplied fast, so that they 
are at present numerous in the counties of Bucks, Mont- 
gomery , Berks, Lehigh, Chester, York and Lancaster, 
also in the West and Canada. It is remarkable that the 
majority of them remained true to the Mennonite Church, 
to which their fathers belonged, and as far as this world 
is concerned, the majority of them are in moderate cir- 
cumstances. The writer of this article wishes that he 
might be furnished with all possible information in re- 
gard to their immigration. 

Milford Square, Pa. J. G. Stauffer. 

Custom of Baptism in the Early Centuries. 

Benjamin Eby, a prominent Mennonite minister and 
Bishop at Berlin, Waterloo County, Canada, in his History 
of the Mcnnonitcs, published by Henry Eby, in 1841, 
writes about the Second Commandment as follows : 

Christ said, " Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," 
and also commanded His disciples, Matt. 28 : 19, as 
follows : "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptiz- 
ing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and 
of the Holy Ghost." The above commandment was 
closely observed by the Apostles and their followers ; they 
held strictly to the teachings and doctrines of Christ. 
They taught that taking up the sword against their fellow- 
men in times of war, and swearing an oath, were not in ac- 
cordance with the doctrine of the New Testament or the 
teachings of our Saviour ; neither would they baptize any 
person before they had been instructed in the doctrine of 
Christ, and then baptized them upon their own confession 
of faith. 

Many Jews and heathens were converted and adopted 
Christ through the preaching of the Gospel by the 
Apostles, and were organized as a congregation at An- 
tioch, where they were first called Christians, Acts 1 1 : 26. 
The evangelical doctrine of Christ was extensively spread 
throughout Asia, Africa and Europe, notwithstanding 
the severe persecutions they had to endure on account 
of their teachings, and though many were put to death. 
24 (369) 


Still they prospered and increased in numbers, as the 
blooming roses among the thorns. 

Through the first two hundred years we do not find, 
through any reliable history or any records, that any of 
the Christians deviated from the true doctrine of Christ. 
But in the third century men appeared who commenced 
to advocate infant baptism, but it was accepted only 
by a few. The ingenious and renowned Tertulianus, 
about the year 204, remonstrated in strong terms against 
baptizing too young, and strongly advocated the order 
of baptism according to the doctrine of Christ. But it 
was impossible for the pious and zealous teacher at that 
time to keep the Christians as St. Paul says, 1 Cor. 1:10, 
all of one mind. 

In the time of Cypriani, about the year 250, in a Council 
held at Carthage, it was resolved that young children 
should be baptized, but it was not generally observed, and 
many Christians held that faith should precede baptism, 
and therefore baptized only adults upon their own con- 
fession of faith. They also denied the swearing of an 
oath, also the taking up the sword against the enemy; 
but the hatred of their opponents steadily increased, so 
that at a Council held at Rome, in the year 470, it was 
resolved and an edict issued to anathematize and put in 
the ban and treat as heretics those who would not 
baptize infants. 

This was a terrible edict, but the old Christians could 
not be persuaded to deny Jesus, and to abandon His doc- 
trine and seek the friendship and favors of this world, but 
preferred to follow the will of God and His intentions as 
harmless sheep, to subject themselves rather to suffer as 
martyrs, and in consequence many have scaled their con- 


fession with their blood. For more than sixteen hundred 
years were the harmless defenders of adult baptism kept 
in fear by persecution, through imprisonment, and many 
other kinds of cruel punishment, by fire, sword, hunger 
and drowning ; nevertheless, there have been, through 
many centuries, even from the time of the Apostles, many 
Christians who advocated adult baptism and preached 
the true doctrine of Christ, notwithstanding the severe 
persecutions they had to endure. 

The year 1160 is remembered at all times and men- 
tioned with joy by many devout and well-meaning 
Christians at that time, and principally a short time after- 
wards, when the true doctrine of God's Word lifted its head 
with joy and flourished in glory. The doctrine against 
infant baptism, and against swearing an oath, and against 
carrying on war, was preached and defended openly and 
without fear. The beginning of this liberty or freedom of 
speech was made through Peter Waldus, at Lyons, which 
was afterwards carried out by his successors, as the follow- 
ing will show. 

T. J. Van Braght, in his Martyrs' Mirror, Part I, p. 
217, etc., writes as follows : 

About the year 1160 several prominent citizens were 
assembled together at Lyons, in France, conversing 
together about matters and things occurring at that time, 
and it happened that one of them fell down suddenly and 
died. Over this terrible occurrence and example of the 
mortality of man, Peter Waldus, a very rich merchant, 
who happened to be among them, was so terrified at this 
occurrence that he took it to heart and resolved (and 
through the motive of the Holy Ghost) to repent and 
live in the fear of the Lord. He commenced with his 


own household and his friends, as they assembled at con- 
venient times, to exhort and admonish them in piety and 
godliness. As he had done much good to the poor for 
some time, the people began to assemble more frequently. 
From time to time he began to preach the Holy Scripture 
to them in the French language. He remained strictly 
in the doctrine and teachings of Christ and the Apostles, 
and endeavored to imitate the customs and teachings of 
the first Christians. 

His confession of faith corresponded with that of the 
(Taufgesinnten) adult-baptism Christians. He advocated 
the baptism of adults only, and against swearing an oath, 
and against taking up the sword to carry on war. His 
followers were called Waldenses, Albigenses, Poor of 
Lyons, etc., and afterwards were called by various other 
names according to the names of places where they lived, 
or the names of the preachers they had. 

Peter Waldus' doctrine met with great approval in 
France and Italy, but then persecution commenced again 
and they met with much opposition ; many were banished 
from the country, others suffered martyrdom in various 
ways, many others fled in large numbers into various 
other countries. Their departure from Lyons, their 
flight to strange countries and towns, their innocent and 
patient sufferings, their firmness until death, and all this 
without any resistance, revenge or self-defence, is ample 
proof of their faith and the spirit which guided them. 

Sebastian Frank divides the Waldenses in three parties 
hirst, those who accepted Peter Waldus as their teacher 
and followed his teachings, says he, hold in all things 
with the Taufgesinnten (adult-baptism Christians), because 
they do not baptize infants, they do not swear an oath, 


in any form, they believe that it is not proper for a 
Christian to do so ; they suffer no beggars among them, 
but assist each other in a brotherly way ; they lead a 
Christian and unspotted life, etc. These are true Wal- 
denses, whose name at the same time agrees with their 
deeds, as well in their faith as in their conduct, showing 
that they are Christians indeed, which is the topic of our 

The second party are those who deviated from the 
teachings and doctrines of their leader, and accepted 
and followed other doctrines, but still call themselves 

The third party was improperly called Waldenses, or 
Albigenses, because they suffered or allowed a few of 
the Waldenses to live among them and protected them. 

T. J. Van Braght, Vol. I, p. 220, says that Jacob 
Mehrning in his book remarked by what name the harm- 
less Christians were first designated. With us as Germans, 
he says, they are, with contempt, called Anabaptists, but 
in the Netherlands they are called Mennonites, after 
Menno Simons, one of their most influential teachers, 
but their proper and true name is and properly should 
be, Christians, or Christian-baptists, because, according to 
the order and command of our Saviour, they baptized none 
but those who, according to Christ's command, confess 
Christ and His Holy Gospel and believe on Him, and 
upon such confession they are baptized in the name of 
the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. 

Among the Waldenses, or Taufgesinnten Christians, 
arose Hans Koch and Leonhard Meister, two excellent 
and educated men, who have done much towards spread- 
ing the doctrine of their people, but on that account they 


were imprisoned at Augsburg, in the year 1524, and suf- 
fered martyrdom. Besides them, there were several 
others who gave evidence of the truth of the teachings 
of the above, who acted as instruments in getting ready 
for the great work of the Reformation, namely, Felix 
Mantz, who at the same time was instrumental in brine- 
ing about a better condition in religious matters of faith 
in Germany, but was eventually drowned at Zurich, in 
the year 1526, by the enemies of their doctrine ; also the 
highly learned and firm Michael Sattler, who was im- 
prisoned at Horb, in Germany, in the year 1527, and tor- 
tured, and torn to pieces, and afterwards burnt. 

Leonhard Kaiser (S. W. Pennypacker, in his Biograph- 
ical Sketches, p. 41, mentions him as the ancestor of 
Dirk Keyser, who came to Germantown in 1688, 3d 
day, 3d month, a silk merchant and a Mennonite), an 
eloquent and zealous preacher at Scharding, in Bavaria, 
who was sentenced to be burnt in 1527, was tied on a 
ladder and with it was pushed into a great fire to burn 
him to ashes ; after the wood was all burnt, he was taken 
out unharmed. Wood was gathered a second time, and 
a great fire was built, and he was pushed in again ; after 
the wood was all burned the second time, he was found 
among the ashes smooth and clear, unharmed. Then 
they cut him into pieces, threw them into the fire, but 
they could not burn them. Then at last they threw 
them into the River Inn. This was a miracle of God, 
and should have served those bloodthirsty people as a 

Thomas Herrman, a zealous and devout preacher of 
the Gospel, was taken a prisoner in the year 1527, at 
Kitzpil, and was tortured and sentenced to be burned, 


but his heart they could not burn ; at last they threw it 
into the lake which was close by. 

Leonard Schoener, a defender of the doctrine of Christ, 
was burned to ashes at Rotenburg, in the year 1528. 

George Blaurock, who spread the Gospel truth in 
Switzerland, also traveled to Tyrol, to carry out the 
duties of his calling and to preach the Gospel there, 
was taken a prisoner there in the vicinity of Clausen, in 
the year 1 529, and was burned at the stake. 

All these and many others taught that, first, the swear- 
ing an oath was not in accordance with the New Testa- 
ment and doctrine of Christ, and therefore not allowed. 
Second, they believe that taking up the sword to carry 
on war is contrary to the doctrine of Christ, therefore it 
cannot be sanctioned. Third, that infant baptism has no 
foundation in the New Testament. 

The above is evidence that the doctrine of the (Tauf- 
gesinnten) adult-baptism Christians has been preached 
at all times among nations, and was believed and car- 
ried out, whose authors, since their existence, had many 
names, whose confession and the devout conduct they 
followed could be recognized as the true Church of 

According to the following evidence it is clear that the 
(Taufgesinnten ) adult-baptism Christians, Waldenses 
and Mennonites were in close similarity with that of the 
first Christians. T. Jan Van Braght, Part I, page 95, 
states that from the time of Sylvester, about the year 315, 
the doctrine which has been preached and defended by 
the (Taufgesinnten) adult-baptism Christians and Wal- 
denses has been preached and sanctioned by an innumer- 
able multitude of people, and was at that time preached 


and sanctioned — yea, the same churches that existed in 
the eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth and following centuries 
were called Waldenses, Albigenses, and lastly Mennonites, 
or (Taufgesinnten) adult-baptism Christians, who had 
also existed a long time before. 

A certain celebrated author in the Romish Church 
made the following complaint in his book : " That the 
above-mentioned Christians at all times had many sects 
among, them, but among all that ever existed, none were 
more dangerous to the Romish Church than the Wal- 
denses, or (Taufgesinnten) adult-baptism Christians, be- 
cause they had been in existence at so early a period, 
even at the time of Sylvester, yea, others will date them 
back in the time of the Apostles." 

Jacob Mehrning writes about the above-mentioned peo- 
ple, in his book, the following: " This is by no means a 
new sect, that became popular through the revivals of 
Peter Waldus ; it is a well-known fact that Papist writers 
themselves acknowledge that they already existed at the 
time of Pope Sylvester — yea, long before him, even at 
the time of the Apostles." 

He also writes again that Flaccius made mention of the 
same, which he took out of an old book written by a 
Papist, stating " that the above-mentioned sects existed 
at the time of Sylvester, yea, at the time of the Apostles, 
and that Thuanus does mention of those people and says 
they existed through many centuries back." 

T. Jan Van Braght, Part I, p. 120, makes mention of a 
controversy between the Inquisitor of Leuwarden and Ja- 
ques d'Auchy, a martyr. The Inquisitor based his remarks 
on the Edict of Caesar, and said : " It is already twelve 
or thirteen hundred years since Caesar Theodosius issued 


an edict that all heretics should be killed, namely, those 
who at that time had been re-baptized, even as your sect, 
being, the Inquisitor said, that they were re-baptized." 
" Even as your sect," he gives to understand, or acknowl- 
edges that such people as Jaques d'Auchy was, and 
those (Taufgesinnten) adult-baptism Christians, who, at 
the same time, namely, in the year 1558, left their lives 
for the same doctrine as those against whom the Edict 
had been issued twelve or thirteen hundred years ago. 

T. Jan Van Braght, Part I, p. 293, gives a remarkable 
history of the Oriental Christians previous to the year 
1540, and says: "Likewise have we information that 
there are yet at this time Christians at Thessalonica, who, 
in all religious points, agree with the Mennonites, two of 
them lived yet at the time of our forefathers (written in 
1540), with the brethren at Moravia, afterwards in the 
Netherlands among the Mennonites and communed with 
them. They explicitly stated that those at Thessalonica 
had in their possession, in their archives, two epistles 
written by St. Paul's own hand, in perfect preservation. 
There are even yet many of their brethren in Greece and 
other Oriental countries, scattered here and there, who, 
from the beginning of the Apostles, have held on to the 
ancient custom of adult baptism, to the present time ; so 
it seems God has preserved His own through all times to 
the present." 

About the year 1536, the highly educated and enlight- 
ened Menno Simons, that great Reformer, left the Cath- 
olic priesthood and adopted the principles of the Wal- 
denses, and commenced to preach for them. From that 
time they were called Mennonites. 

The following is from Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, D.D., 


Dean of Westminster, Episcopal, entitled, "Christian In- 
stitutions ; or, Essays on Ecclesiastical Subjects," pp. 23 
and 24 : " In the Apostolic age, and in the three cen- 
turies which followed, it is evident that, as a general rule, 
those who came to baptism, came in full age, of their 
own deliberate choice. We find a fav cases of the bap- 
tism of children ; in the third century we find one case of 
the baptism of infants. Even amongst Christian house- 
holds the instances of Chrysostom, Gregory, Nazianzen, 
Basil, Ephrem of Edessa, Augustine, Ambrose are de- 
cisive proofs that it was not only not obligatory, but not 
usual. All these distinguished personages had Christian 
parents, and yet were not baptized till they reached ma- 
turity. The old liturgical service of baptism was framed 
for full-grown converts, and is only by considerable 
adaptation applied to the case of infants. Gradually the 
practice of baptizing infants spread, and after the fifth 
century the whole Christian world, East and West, 
Catholic and Protestant, Episcopal and Presbyterian 
(with the single exception of the sect of the Baptists 
before mentioned) * have adopted it. Whereas, in the 
early ages, adult baptism was the rule, and infant baptism 
the exception ; in later times infant baptism is the rule, 
and adult baptism the exception." 

Also, on page 27, he says further: "It declares that 
in every child of Adam, whilst there is much evil, there 
is more good; whilst there is much which needs to be 
purified and elevated, there is much also which in itself 

* All denominations who rejected infant baptism and only baptized adults, 
were called Baptists, or Anabaptists. By the Catholics they were called 
heretics, and those who lefused to recognize the state church were called 


shows a capacity for purity and virtue. In those little 
children of Galilee, all unbaptized as they were, not yet 
even within the reach of a Christian family, Jesus Christ 
saw the likeness of the kingdom of heaven ; merely be- 
cause they were little children, merely because they 
were innocent human beings. He saw in them the 
objects, not of Divine malediction, but of Divine bene- 
diction. Lord Palmerston was once severely attacked 
for having said, ' Children are born good.' But he, in 
fact, only said what Chrysostom had said before him, 
and Chrysostom said only what in the Gospel had been 
already said of the natural state of the unbaptized Galilean 
children, ' Of such is the kingdom of Heaven.' " 

As authority for the above article, I will give the fol- 
lowing : 

"The well-known Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, D.D., 
LL.D., Dean of Westminster, and member of the English 
New Testament Company of Revisers, born December 
13th, 18 1 5, was a favorite student of Dr. Arnold, at 
Rugby ; distinguished himself as a student in the pre- 
paratory school and in the University College, where he 
graduated in 1838, and where he subsequently taught 
and held many honorable offices. He became Chaplain 
to Prince Albert in 1854; to Queen Victoria and the 
Prince of Wales in 1862 ; became Dean of Westminster, 
January, 1 864. He made a tour of the East, accompany- 
ing the Prince of Wales, in 1862. He has been one of 
the most prominent men of the English Church for many 
years. He married Lady Augusta Bruce, the Queen's 
most intimate friend, in 1862. His works are of immense 
value, and altogether he was one of England's most 
scholarly men. He died July 1 8th, 1881." 


The question whether the proper mode of baptism is 
by sprinkling or immersion was, with Menno Simons, 
like all other Baptists of the sixteenth century, entirely 
strange. Morgan Edwards, D. Benedict, J. N. Brown 
and other American writers refer to two claims in Men- 
no's writings, where immersion is said to be given as the 
proper mode of baptism, but the citations are errors, as 
the passages do not appear in Menno's explanation of 
Christian baptism, where they are said to appear, nor in 
any other of Menno's writings. 

The best biography of Menno is, " Het leven en de 
verrichtingen van Menno Symons." "The life and do- 
ings of Menno Simons, by A. M. Cramer, Amsterdam, 
1837," afterwards translated into English, and from the 
English into German, by J. N. Brown, and published by 
the American Baptist Publication Society of Philadelphia, 
1854. — American Conversations Lexicon, July 16th, 1872, 
P- 203. 

Mimsterites not Connected with 

In a book printed by Henry Eby, in Berlin, Canada, 
in the year 1846, entitled " Christian Duty," and " Con 
fession of Faith of the Mennonites," with an Appendix 
on non-resistant Christians, we read the following, p. 
187 : " Herewith this report might be closed, if our ex- 
perience had not taught us how many people, through 
ignorance and not being properly acquainted with us, or 
for want of (to our sorrow and without cause) love con- 
tinued to trouble and molest us with scandalous remarks 
about the riots and riotous enthusiasm of Thomas Mun- 
zer and his associates, who, about the time of the Ref- 
ormation, or shortly afterwards, came into existence. 
After so many prosperous congregations of defenceless 
Christians already existed in many localities who held 
meetings, public as well as private (on account of the 
severe persecutions), and after so many excellent <md 
enlightened men had been persecuted, tormented and put 
to death on account of their non-resistant doctrine and 
belief, then finally the Munster riots started, in the year 
1533,. not by the Mennonites, as their enemies would 
charge them; neither were they supported, assisted or 
even recognized by the Mennonites.* The Munster riots 

* When the Munster riots occurred and the battles at Munster were 
fought, in 1533 and 1535, Menno Simons was yet a Catholic priest in Wit- 
marsum, his birthplace. He left Popery January 1 2th, 1536, one year after 
the battle at Munster was fought.— B. Karl Roosen, p. 24, at Hamburg, 

Alton a. 



were supported and carried on by men who left the dark- 
ness of Popery, and saw a glimmer of light, yet inex- 
perienced. They, with Johann Von Leiden,* through 
several Lutheran ministers, were persuaded to take up 
the sword, and to establish the kingdom of Christ by 
force and compulsion, by the sword. They also adopted 
adult baptism and rejected infant baptism, therefore the 
enemies of the non-resistant Christians have tried to 
classify them with the Mennonites." 

We also read, p. 188, the following: " Seethe'Onnoosel- 
heyts Peyl/ that is, fundamental searches of the innocence 
on the part of the Mennonites in the Minister riots, in 
print, whereby Schleidanus, Guido de Vres, Heinrich 
Bullinger and Heinrich Dorzio, definitely, and on various 
occasions, mention has been made of the Minister Process 
and can be seen in their writings, that the following 
named persons were the principal authors of the Minister 
riots, viz. : Bernhard Rottman, Heinrich Rollius, Gott- 
fried Stralen, Herman Staprede, all Lutheran ministers, 
who caused and started the Minister riot." 

N. B. — Whereas, we do not baptize infants, but only 
sucR persons who can be baptized upon their own con- 
fession of faith, according to the Word of God ; they call 
us Anabaptists, when the followers of Zwingli retained 
infant baptism and other customs of the Romish Church 
and are called Reformers. We will let the reader judge 
impartially who is nearest the truth, or nearest the Word 
of God, or who has reformed best and who is most de- 
serving the name of Reformer. 

* Generally called Johann Von Leyden by historians. I lis proper name 
was Johann Bockhold, a tailor of Leyden. — Encycloptcdia Britannica. 

Origin of the Munsterites. 

For more than a century, up to the present day, 
people have been made to believe that the Anabaptists, 
contemptuously so-called, have but recently sprung from 
some erring spirits — some say from the Munsterites, etc., 
whose fabulous faith, life and conduct the true Anabap- 
tists have never recognized ; for no one will ever be able 
to show with truth, so far as we have been able 
to ascertain, that the articles of religion of those Munster- 
ites, whereby they have drawn the attention of the world 
upon themselves, and which consist in commotion, re- 
bellion and such like, have ever been adopted or acknowl- 
edged as good, "much less professed and lived by any 
formal church of the Anabaptists, or by any well-known 
member of the same. But, on the contrary, they have 
from that time on and ever since declared that they 
would have neither lot nor part with them or their trans- 
actions, and admonished one another not to follow such 
ways, because these could not stand the test before God 
and His Word, nor before the mind of a true and meek 
Christian, as being contrary to the Gospel of Christ and 
the most holy faith. Were we disposed to pay them in 
their own coin, we might say the Munsterites were fel- 
low-members of those who sanction war and claim that 
one must propagate and defend his religion with the 



sword, for this is what they did ; but we speak against it 
with heart, soul and mind. 

Aside from the fact that the Anabaptists did not spring 
from the Munsterites, but have existed through all the 
times of the Gospel, as has been sufficiently shown, we 
would, moreover, state that the pernicious and evil pro- 
ceedings which took place at Miinster about the year 
1534 cannot, according to the truth, be laid to the charge 
of the Anabaptists, who, at that time, like innocent doves 
fleeing before the talons of the hawk into clefts of the 
rock, or into hollow trees, had to hide themselves ; but 
must be placed to the account of some Lutheran 
preachers, to whom a certain Jan van Leyden had recom- 
mended and taught Anabaptism. According to old and 
authentic authors, these proceedings happened as follows : 

In the year 1532, Bernaert Rotman, a Lutheran (at 
that time called Evangelical) preacher, began to preach 
at Miinster, in St. Maurice Church, against the doctrine 
of the Papists ; when, however, the Papists of Miinster 
came to know this, they bribed him with money to go 
away. But repenting of it a few months afterwards, he 
came back and drew such crowds that he, being sustained 
by some of the chief men of the city of Miinster, erected 
his pulpit in the entry of the church. He also sought to 
have other churches opened in order that his doctrine 
might be propagated the more widely — if this were not 
done, they should be opened by force, etc. In the mean- 
time, on the 14th of February, 1533, there arrived at 
Miinster Jan van Leyden,* a strange, odd and opinionated 
man, who, though he maintained baptism upon faith, yet 

* Whose proper name was Johann Bockhold, a tailor of Leyden. 


in most other points never agreed with the Anabaptists. 
To be brief, after much controversy, he brought the mat- 
ter so far that not only Bernaert Rotman, who had at 
first opposed him, but also his colleague, H. Staprede, 
and various others began to preach against the practice 
of infant baptism. On the other hand Jan van Leyden 
learned from them, especially from B. Rotman, the doc- 
trine that one might defend and propagate his religion 
with external weapons. 

In the meanwhile, the magistrates, apprehending se- 
rious mischief which might be expected to spring from 
this, forbade those whom they thought were giving the 
most occasion to it in the city ; they indeed left the city, 
yet on the instigation of B. Rotman, entered it again by 
another way. Finally matters came to such a pass that 
the aforementioned, and supporters of the Lutheran (or 
miscalled Evangelical) doctrine, who had become agreed 
with Jan van Leyden in the article of baptism, collected 
together and resolved to bring about a total restoration 
of religion ; deciding also, that to this end, as it could 
not be effected quietly, it should be done by force of 
arms ; further, that in Miinster the beginning should be 
made. Jan van Leyden was constituted the leader ; and 
through B. Rotman's proclamation (many) ignorant and 
simple people from the surrounding places were sum- 
moned to help carry out said restoration, which, however, 
was not made known to them at first. These were prom- 
ised that in Miinster they should receive tenfold for their 
goods which they had to abandon on this account. With- 
out loss of time they opposed the power of the Bishop.* 

* Count Waldeck. 

^ 25 


They erected fortifications, seeking not only to defend 
themselves, but also to exterminate their opponents — 
that is, the true adherents of Rome and the Pope. But 
matters took quite a different turn from what they had 
intended ; they were defeated and the Bishop and those 
of the city triumphed. Rotman himself (notwithstand- 
ing that his associates were in equal distress), despairing 
of his life, ran to the enemies to be killed by them ; so 
that he might not, like Jan van Leyden, be taken alive 
and come to a shameful end. 

This, then, was the tragedy enacted at Munster ; the 
instigation, progress and execution can and may not be 
attributed to the so-called Anabaptists, but to the first 
risen Lutherans, especially to B. Rotman and his fol- 
lowers. Had this restoration been successful, the Luth- 
erans would not have been ashamed of it; on the con- 
trary, they would have boasted of it, and never would 
have left the honor of it remain in the hands of the Ana- 
baptists. To this alludes the following old ditty : 

Had successful been the glorious restoration, 

Never would the much-despised Anabaptists 

Have obtained the honor; Luther or some other, 

By the sword of Rotman, lord would have been crowned. 

[Compare tract Onnooselheyds Peyl, etc., edit. Harl. 
Anno. 1 63 1. Annex Hist. Mart, a little before the in- 
troduction: with the various attestations of Bernhard 
Rotman, Godfrey Stralensis, Rollins, and other Luth- 
eran leaders at Munster; whose writings concerning this 
matter were published shortly after the transaction, and 
have also come down to us. Also the notes of Melanch- 
ton, Guido, Sleydan ; and also in the great atlas, old edi- 
tion.] — The Bloody Theatre, or Martyrs Mirror, by 
Thielman J. Van Braght, p. 16. 

German Translations of the Bible by the 

By Dr. Ludwig Keller. 

In the fourteenth century, under the administration of 
Kaiser Ludwig, of Bavaria, the great opposition of the 
Roman Catholic Church to Protestantism was broken. 
This was an important period in the history of the 
Germans, when public opinion began to awaken and the 
enthusiasm began to develop itself in natural affairs as 
well as in religion, which was of much importance to 
coming centuries, when the opposition to the Roman 
Catholic Church began to grow stronger than ever be- 
fore, and the " heretics " (so called by Roman Catholics) 
commenced to establish their churches everywhere. The 
history of the translation of the German Bible was a 
remarkable period in the fourteenth century, which has 
been brought about through the introduction of the 
German music, which was followed by a number of 
German translations of the Bible (more particularly the 
New Testament), many of which have become extinct. 
There are nine hymns in the Catholic hymn books com- 
posed by Bohemian brethren. The States Library at 
Miincheii contains twenty-one different copies of Gospels 
and Epistles translated into German by Waldenses. Only 
one of the German Bibles of the fourteenth century be- 



came particularly popular; it was called the Tepler 
Bible, and was issued in parts; also a German version of 
the New Testament, including an Epistle of Paul to the 
Laodiceans, a copy of which is now in the Gymnasial 
Library at Freiburg, in Saxony, and another in' posses- 
sion of J. M. Goeze. After printing was invented in the 
year 1466, the first German Bible was given to the press. 
In the same year a second edition was issued by John 
Mentel, in Strasburg, and another edition in 1473, at 
Augsburg. The names of the translators, also that of 
the printers, were carefully withheld on account of the 
severe persecution at that time. 

It is an important question to consider that the German 
translations of the New Testament by the different trans- 
lators, almost word for word agreed with the first or 
Tepler Bible ; not only those three above-mentioned edi- 
tions, but all editions from 1470 to 1522, both High 
German and Dutch, have the Tepler version as their 
basis. These are the editions printed without the printers' 
names (except one printed at Nurnberg or Augsburg), 
two by Giinther Zeiner, between 1473 anc ^ ! 477> a t Augs- 
burg; further, the two editions by Anton Sorg, also at 
Augsburg, 1477 and 1480; the Anton Koburg edition, 
1483; the Griininger, of Strasburg, 1485; the fifth and 
sixth of Augsburg (Hans Schoensperger), 1485 and 1490; 
the seventh and eighth of Augsburg, by Hans and Silvan 
Otmar, 1507 and 15 18. The Dutch translations ap- 
peared at Coin in two editions; at Lubcck (1494) and 
at Halberstadt, 1522. Further information maybe ob- 
tained by referring to Keh reins' History of the German 
Translation of the Bible before Martin Lnther, Stuttgart, 
1 85 1, p. 33, also p. 49. According to the statements of 


Kehreins, it appears that the " Tepler " Bible was exten- 
sively circulated and became very prominent. 

Thus far we have an account of the German editions of 
the Bible prior to 1522. Translations of parts of the 
Bible appeared in large numbers prior to 15 18. The 
Gospels of the New Testament appeared not less than 
twenty-five times prior to 15 18, and the Psalter thirteen 
times prior to 15 13, and other Epistles in large numbers.* 

The following is taken from the " History of the Revi- 
sion" of the New Testament, and corresponds with the 
above. It reads as follows : 

" Portions of the Bible were translated into German as 
early as the latter part of the ninth century. These trans- 
lations increased in number until the invention of printing. 
Five undated editions were issued before 1477, all of 
them from the Vulgate. The first of these is thought to 
have been printed as early as 1466 in Strasburg. Between 
1477 and 1522 nine other editions followed, besides trans- 
lations of detached portions. 

"Luther's New Testament appeared in 1522. It was 
published at Wittemberg in two folio volumes. In 1524 
the whole Bible, with the exception of the prophetical 
books, was published in three folio volumes at Nurem- 
berg. Luther's Bible was translated from the original 

"The Zurich Biblef was published shortly after Luther's, 
and was a combination of his translation with the trans- 
lations of Leo Juda and other Germa n scholars." 

* See Dr. Keller, Leipzig, p. 43- Waldenser und die Deutschen 
Bibel uebersetzungen. 

f In 1530, by Christopher Froschatier. My ancestor, Martin Kolb, brought 
one of them from Holland in 1 707. It is now in the possession of Jonathan 
Kulp, of North Coventry, Chester County, Pennsylvania, and is (1888) 358 
years old.— Author. 

The Community and the Church. 

Dr. Keller writes in the " Badisches Gemeindeblatt" 
about the names " Mennoniten," " Taufgesinnten," "Alt- 
evangelische Taufgesinnte." He maintained that when 
the several confessions of the " Taufeesinnten " from 
1 591 to 1665, be thoroughly examined, it will show that 
the above-mentioned people invariably only designated 
themselves as the congregations (Gemeinden), the con- 
gregations of Christ ("die Gemeinden Christi"), or con- 
gregations of God ("oder Gemeinden Gottes"), also 
''Taufgesinnten Gemeinden Gottes." 

On the other hand, the name Mennonite does not ap- 
pear in a single instance in all their official acts previous 
to the year 1664, even in their conferences, where the 
Flanders, the Frieslanders and the German congrega- 
tions were partakers. In the year 1665, for the first time, 
we find the name Mennonite in a single instance only. 
It is certain that the above-mentioned conferences pre- 
ferred the name "Gemeinde Christi" to the name Men- 
nonite, but it should be observed that the name Menno- 
nite only became general in later years. 


Menno Simons' Memorial. 

The following sketch I found among a lot of waste 
paper, and as it is so full of interest I placed it on these 
pages. It seems there was an illustration attached to it, 
which I was not able to obtain. 

One of the Places where Menno Simons after his 

Renunciation of the Church of Rome first 

preached the gospel. 

There are many localities in the world that will be 
long remembered, and around which cluster many pre- 
cious memories. The places in themselves may not be 
more than a thousand other places, and indeed may pos- 
sess less of beauty and less of the romantic than a hun- 
dred other places of which no notice is taken ; but the 
events that transpired there, and men who have lived and 
labored and suffered in them, make these places of in- 
tense interest to all who possess a knowledge of them. 

With what solemnity of feeling do men, to-day, walk 
the streets of ancient Jerusalem, the pathway across the 
Brook Kedron, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Mount of 
Olives and many other places in Palestine, the soil of 
which, more than eighteen hundred years ago, was pressed 
by the sacred feet of the Son of God ; and because here 



He labored and suffered and died to save us from our 
sins; and here, too, the Gospel was first preached, and 
here transpired the tragic scenes of sorrow and suffering 
connected with the lives and death of many who loved 
the poor, despised Nazarene. All these things give a 
deep and lasting interest to localities of this character, 
which is precious to every Christian. 

With similar feelings we must ever regard the localities 
where God's children in the ages past have lived and 
suffered and died, and especially so is it with those who 
have held like faith and maintained like principles with 
ourselves. When we follow the fortunes of God's peo- 
ple through the Eastern countries, when we think of the 
Donatists, the Paulicians, the Waldenses or Poor Men of 
Lyons, the Albigenses, the Mennonites and others, every 
spot, where the precious blood of these faithful martyrs 
flowed, must be to the Mennonites to-day, as it were, 
hallowed ground. 

So the place represented by the illustration on the op- 
posite page has a historic record, which will forever en- 
dear it to all the followers of that noble champion of 
Gospel truth, who here so boldly, against all opposition, 
declared the whole counsel of God unto the people. The 
place is a parcel of ground containing only a few acres 
near the village of Witmarsum, in the province of Fries- 
land, in Holland. 

Witmarsum was the birthplace of Mcnno, as he him- 
self relates in his Renunciation of the Church of Rome, 
and to this place he again returned and preached, after he 
had served as priest for a time in his father's village, 
called Pingjutn, and gained some notoriety as an ex- 
pounder of the Scriptures. 


On the parcel of ground above referred to there was 
still standing, in 1828, a small, dilapidated, old building, 
which throughout that vicinity was known as Menno 
Simons Oud PrcckJiuis (Menno Simons' Old Meeting- 
house), and was then still used by the Mennonites of that 
day as a house of worship. 

In this place, according to old traditions, Menno Simons, 
for some time after his renunciation of the Church of 
Rome, preached the Gospel, and it is even claimed that 
he preached in this very house, but it is hardly probable 
that on this rough coast, so much exposed to the storms 
and tempests of that locality, the house could have with- 
stood the ravages of time for a period of three hundred 

In 1828 the old house, which so long bore the name 
of Menno, was taken down and a new one erected in the 
same place and in the same style as the old one, with the 
exception that a small cupola was added in the middle 
of the roof. The illustration on the opposite page is a 
representation of this house, built in 1828. In later 
years, during the winter, when the weather was more 
rough and the roads muddy, it seemed too severe and un- 
pleasant a task for the people to go from the village, 
through storm and rain against the bleak winds and 
through marshy roads, to the meeting-house, and for this 
reason it was determined, in 1876, to build a new meet- 
ing-house in the village of Witmarsum, which was done 
in 1877, and in December of the same year the congre- 
gation took leave of the old meeting-house, and later 
on the place erected a memorial stone or monument, on 
the sides of which are the following inscriptions: 



Born in Witmarsum 1492. 
Heb. XIII, Vs. 7. " 

According- to tradition 

Menno here preached to his 

first followers. 

For a period of three hundred years' 

the Anabaptists of Witmarsum 

met in this place for worship. 

I Corinthians III, Vs. 11. 

Origin of the Old Evangelical Church. 

The first Christians from the time of the Apostles 
did not bind themselves down to any system of teaching, 
or any symbol, only the plain doctrine and example of 
Christ and the Apostles. Of theology or theological 
education they knew very little, and just so little did they 
consider ceremonial forms essential to salvation. Baptism 
only followed the teaching of religious belief, and in that 
whole epoch, to the year A.D. 150, not the least trace of 
infant baptism can be proven; only adults were baptized 
upon their own confession of faith, and such baptism was 
called the seal of faith. For the performance of all these 
religious exercises no temples nor altars were needed, 
consequently no churches were needed down to the year 
A.D. 175. (Dr. Keller.) 

Since the year A.D. 300 we find the Church was 
called the Church of the Novatians, or sometimes in the 
Oriental countries were called the Congregations of the 
Katarer, who from the third to the fifth century spread 
themselves from Syria to Spain. 

Novatian, a prominent leader, but not the originator of 
these churches, was already by their opponents or enemies 
charged as a schismatic and heretic. Caesar Constantine, 
who for a while tolerated them, at last treated them as 
heretics, forbade their religious meetings, took away their 
churches and ordered their books to be destroyed. Caesar 



Honorius, also, in the year A.D. 412 included them in 
his edict against the heretics, and Theodosius the Second 
followed the same example, but notwithstanding all these 
persecutions these churches maintained themselves and 
prospered throughout the Orient until the sixth and 
seventh century, when they still claimed to be the "True 
Evangelical Church."* And it is an established fact that 
they possessed some very valuable literary works. 

The question is, were these Katarers (Albigenses), who 
were also called Bogomilen (friends of God) since the 
seventh and eighth century in the Orient and Occident, 
as also later the so-called Paulicians, who simply called 
themselves Christians, in close connection with the older 
Katarers in any respect? Certain it is that all those 
churches claim to be in immediate historical connec- 
tion with the Apostolic times. 

These Katarer or Albigenser churches continued down 
to the twelfth century, when Peter Waldus, so prominent 
in the Church, became their principal leader, and from 
that time were called Waldenses, or Evangelische Chris- 
ten, until the Lutherans and others also called themselves 
Evangelische, then, to distinguish, they called themselves 
the Altevangelische Gemeinden until the sixteenth cen- 
tury, when Menno Simons, the highly educated and en- 
lightened Dutch Reformer, connected himself with the 
Church and became a leader among them, in the year 
1537. After that time they were called Mennonites by 
their enemies only, but they invariably designated them- 
selves as the Congregations, or Congregations of Christ. 
Even Heinrich Funk, of Franconia, Pa., in his will dated 
June 13th, 1759, says, "ye Elders in the Congregation 

* See Herzog &° Plitt Realencycfopcedia, Bd. X, p. 666. 


of Christ," "named ye Mennonists." The name Menno- 
nite does not appear in a single instance in all their offi- 
cial acts previous to the year 1664. 

The same principle claimed by those Middle Age 
Katarern corresponds also with many of the later so- 
called sects, above all, the so-called " Waldenses " or 
"Tisserands" (weavers), "Friends of God," " Pickarden," 
" Anabaptists," etc. (as these sects may be called by their 
enemies), was ta\ight through all ages from the time of 
the Apostles down to the present, no matter by what name 
they were called. They were at the same time known 
as the " True Congregations of Christ," or Evangelical 
Christians. And that they existed from the Apostles 
down to the present is plainly shown by the following: 
An old writer in the Romish Church said, among all 
sects none were so injurious to the Romish Church as 
the Waldenses or Taufgesinnten, because they existed at 
so early a time, even the time of Sylvester or the time of 
the Apostles. Jacob Mehrning also writes about the 
above-named sects thus : This is by no means a new sect 
that took its start with Peter Waldus ; Papist writers 
themselves acknowledge that they existed at the time of 
Pope Sylvester — yea, even at the time of the Apostles. 

These so-called sects claim continual connection from 
time to time with the old Christian, Apostolic, or Old 
Evangelical churches through all times. But their 
enemies continually claim that they were nothing else 
than new and self-constituted sects, except some few who 
are better informed, as above-mentioned, and who do 
acknowledge that they already existed at the time of 
Sylvester — yea, long before him, even from the time of 
the Apostles.* The time of Sylvester was A.D. 315. 
* See T. J. V. Braght, 1st part, p. 95. 


If any of the churches or denominations of the present 
day will go back and claim those old sects, as they call 
them, as their starting point, or foundation, or their prin- 
ciples, are they also willing to accept and adopt those 
principles or confessions of faith that they preached and 
practiced, and lived up to and testified to, and scaled with 
the blood of thousands of them who were persecuted 
and murdered by the Roman Catholics in Spain and the 
Netherlands, and by the Calvinists in Switzerland, viz. : 

ist. Against swearing an oath. 

2d. Against taking up the sword and waging war. 

3d. Against infant baptism as not in accordance with 
the Scripture. 

Closing Chapter. 

We must say, it is indeed a very remarkable history 
which greets us in the records of the idea and experience 
of these old evangelical churches. They have been per- 
secuted through centuries; they have been stigmatized 
as heretics ; they have been slaughtered as outcasts ; yet 
their opponents have never succeeded in exterminating 
them and rooting out their principles and ideas. On the 
contrary, in spite of all opposition, they have gained 
ground more and more as the centuries marched on. 
Out of the graves of the martyrs of these churches there 
sprouted up new blossoms of life, exhaling the fragrance 
of a true, living, Christian faith among the nations, thus 
verifying the words of Christ : " If a grain falleth into the 
ground and die, it beareth much fruit." 

Penetrating into the details of their history, the reader 
is struck with astonishment to find these annals replete 
with records of most heroic suffering without equal ; they 
show the fulfilment of Christ's words : " Behold, I send 
you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves," and " If they 
have persecuted me, they will also persecute you ;" but 
at the same time these records prove the truth of the 
statement, " They have hated me without a cause." 

Let me close with pointing to the words of a circular 
which has lately been sent to the Protestant denomina- 
tions, in which attention is solicited to the old Waldensian 



churches. It is there set forth that a Church which has 
become remarkable and venerable through a long history 
of suffering and persecution, naturally claims the sym- 
pathy of all those that take a true interest in the pure 
doctrines of the Gospel. What is said here in respect to 
the venerable Waldensian churches of Italy might, as I 
believe, be fitly applied also to the descendants of the 
old evangelical churches of all centuries and those who 
have adopted their principles. These churches may well 
claim to have gained through long and intense suffering 
a citizenship among other Protestant denominations ; this 
citizenship carries with it, it is true, duties and obligations, 
but it also carries with it a most just claim, the only one 
which the evangelical churches make in accordance with 
their principles — the claim of liberty of conscience ; the 
claim of being tolerated and permitted to live according to 
their principles of faith, as they see them laid down in the 
Word of God. 



26 • \ (401) 

First Impulse or Motive of the Cassels 
Emigrating to America. 

William Penn made his first visit through Germany 
in 1 67 1 as a missionary, and only followed the example 
of his brothers in faith, and stopped at Emden, Crefeld 
and Westphalia. 

His second visit he made in the year 1677, in the thirty- 
third year of his age, and not yet known as the founder 
of Pennsylvania. Four years later, it appears, he made a 
third trip ; and from Cassel he gave notice of a meeting he 
proposed to hold at Frankfort. From Frankfort he went 
to Kriesheim, where he arrived August 23d, 168 1, and in- 
tended to preach. A meeting had been previously an- 
nounced for that purpose ; but upon the urgent request of 
a Calvinist minister, all preaching was forbidden by the 
bailiff's deputy. However, a silent meeting was held, in 
which all took part ; also those from Worms, who followed 
them in a wagon. Penn, however, got permission from 
Count Karl Ludwig to preach again, consequently, on Sun- 
day, August 26th, Penn traveled on foot from Worms to 
Kriesheim, a distance of six miles, and preached to the 
people of Kriesheim in a barn. Count Ludwig quietly 
entered the barn, and stood behind a door listening ; but 
Penn did not know it. Ludwig afterwards reported to 
the Calvinist minister, that nothing of a heretical nature 



occurred, but, on the contrary, all that he heard was ac- 
tually very good. Penn preached in the German lan- 
guage, which he had learned from his mother, she being 
a Dutch woman from Rotterdam. During his discourse 
he pictured the then raging persecutions of the non-re- 
sistant Christians ; how they were denied the right to 
worship God according to the dictates of their conscience, 
and how they were driven from one place to another, and 
their property confiscated. 

He further explained their principles of faith regarding 
swearing an oath and waging; war, and of revenge, which 
corresponded very nearly with that of the Mennonites, 
and gave great satisfaction to those present. Among 
them were Heinrich Cassel and Yilles Cassel, who were 
so well pleased with his remarks that as soon as the 
meeting closed they took him by the hand and embraced 
him, and invited him to go with them, which he did. 
Then they had a long consultation about matters of re- 
ligion. He told them that he had a large tract of land in 
America, which had been granted to him by King 
Charles II, March 4th, 1 681, and made it free by purchase 
to enable the conscientiously scrupulous to settle and en- 
joy their religious opinions without restraint. Thus by 
promising them perfect freedom and liberty of conscience 
to worship God according to the dictates of their con- 
science, was given the first impulse or motive of the 
Cassels emigrating to America.* 

* From MSS. in the library of A. H. Cassel at Harleysville. 

The Mennonite Shipbuilder. 

At the time of the truce between the Spaniards and 
the Dutch, in 1609, there lived at Hoorn, in North Hol- 
land, a Mennonist, Peter Jansen, who took the notion 
that he would build a ship of the same proportions as 
Noah's ark, only smaller, that is, 120 feet long, 20 feet 
broad and 12 feet high. While it was building every 
one laughed at him ; but, Dutchman-like, he kept stur- 
dily on, and found in the end that it justified his expecta- 
tions, for, when launched, it proved to be able to bear a 
third more freight than other ships of the same measure- 
ment, required no more hands to manage it than they, 
and sailed much faster. The result was that the Dutch 
built many others like it, calling them Noah's arks, and 
they only ceased to be used after the close of the truce 
in 1 62 1, because they could not carry cannon, and thus 
were not safe against privateers. — J. D. Michaelis. 


Extract from an Address delivered by 
Dr. W. J. Mann. 

Dr. William J. Mann delivered a most interesting 
historical sermon in the Zion Church, on Franklin 
Street, Philadelphia (German Lutheran), which we find in 
the Philadelphia Press, Monday, October 8th, 1883, basing 
his remarks on Genesis 21 : 33, 34, viz.: Abraham, whose 
name the confessors of the three most important forms 
of religion on the earth keep in reverence, is by Israelites 
called the father of their nation ; by the Mahomedans, 
a prophet ; and by us Christians in a higher sense, the 
father of the faithful and the friend of God. Two hun- 
dred years ago the first German emigrants came to our 
beautiful Pennsylvania. They were small in numbers,* 
but they were an energetic, industrious and persevering 
people. They came as Christians,f and not being pro- 
vided with churches they united with the Quakers and 

* Thirteen families, consisting of thirty-three souls. 

f Dr. W. J. Mann failed to mention here that those Christians, as he 
says, were the thirteen families of Mennonites, viz. : Lenart Arets, Abraham 
( )p den Graeff, Dirk Op den Graeff, Herman Op den Graeff, Willem Strey- 
pers, Thonis Kunders, Reynier Tyson, Jan Seimens, Jan Lensen, Peter 
Keurlis, Johannes lileikers, Jan Lukens and Abraham Tunes, who arrived 
October 6th, 1683. 



worshiped with them,* and indeed, in 1688, undertook to 
lay the first protest against Slavery before the monthly 
meeting of the Quakers. f It took almost 180 years and 
a mighty war which shook our whole Union to the foun- 
dation to bring about what these Germans in their 
simple-heartedness had considered as the right and 
Christian thing at too early a period. J Within the course 
of a few decades other Germans arrived in Pennsylvania, 
and some of them of very peculiar notions, deeply inter- 
ested in the Kingdom of God, and thinking that leading 
a hermit § life they could best serve their Lord, settled 
around our romantic Wissahickon. || Lutherans and 
Reformed churchmen also followed the invitation given 
by William Penn, that great and good man, who through- 

* The first religious meeting held by these people was held in the house 
of Thonis Kunders, in 1683. From that time they held their meetings in 
private houses. Sometimes in Summer, in the shade under the trees ; some- 
times they worshiped with the Quakers, and the Quakers with them, but 
were not connected with them. Tn 1708 these Mennonites built their first 
meeting-house at Germantown Road and Herman Street, Germantown. 

f This protest was drawn up in Germantown in the year 1688 and signed 
by Garret Hendricks (it is held that he was a Mennonite, see Germantown 
Independent of July 28th, 1883), Derick Op den Graeff and Abraham Op 
den Graeff, both Mennonites (see Biographical Sketches by S. W. Penny- 
packer, p. 28), and Francis Daniel Pastorius, who was a Pietist (see notes 
on his Pamphlets, pp. 17 and 49, by S. W. Pennypacker). 

\ The Mennonites never held slaves, even those who lived in Slave States 
did not ; they believed it to be contrary to the doctrine of Christ. 

\ There was only one person at that time near Germantown who lived 
a hermit life, named Herman Dorst. He died October 14th, 1739, at the 
age of eighty years. 

|| In 1694 Johannes Kelpius, the Hermit of the Wissahickon, and others 
of his followers, all Pietists, who were expelled from the College at Helm- 
stedt, arrived and settled on the Wissahickon near Roxborough, where they 
founded the Society of the " Woman in the Wilderness." The Mennonites 
had no connection with them. 


out his province at once established perfect religious 
tolerance. In 1703 we discover the first German Luth- 
eran congregation on this continent, at New Hanover, 
thirty-six miles from Philadelphia. 

An Interesting Address. 

By Matteo Brocket, of Rome. 

An interesting address was delivered some time ago 
in Berlin by Dr. Matteo Brochet, of Rome, President 
of the Evangelization Committee of Italy. He touched 
briefly upon the early history of the Waldenses, not only 
those of the twelfth century, but those of the tenth cen- 
tury. He mentions thirty-three persecutions, where their 
towns had been burned, their members and brethren tor- 
mented and killed, and yet they have been wonderfully 
preserved in their Church and their principles through 
all the persecutions they had to endure. It seems to 
have been the object of the All-wise Preserver of the uni- 
verse that through these people the Gospel should be 
preached to all the Italian inhabitants. Although it 
would have been much more convenient for them to have 
remained at home on their farms in the valleys, yet since 
religious liberty was guaranteed in Italy (1848), the 
twelve or fourteen thousand members of the Waldenses 
commenced their mission work. 

In 1855 they founded a theological seminary at Flor- 
ence and sent preachers and Bible colporteurs through 
all Italy. In i860 they had fifteen stations and the same 
number of messengers in Italy. At present (1887) their 
field of labor extends from Mont Blanc to the south 
point of Sicily. They have 44 organized congregations, 
38 stations and 120 missionaries, and among them 36 



ordained ministers and 57 teachers ; they visit many cities 
and towns. During the last year they counted (inde- 
pendent of the old valley congregations) 4,000 com- 
municant members, 1,961 ■ scholars in their elementary 
schools and over 3,000 scholars in their Sunday and even- 
ing schools. They raised about 70,000 francs to defray 

The conduct toward these Waldenses on the part of 
the Italians is very favorable, but the Romish clergy try 
to put every obstacle in their way, viz. : that the Bible 
only originated from Luther, and they were buying souls, 
and other reports. They also hinder and injure the 
Waldenses in their business. In the year 1560 a min- 
ister of the Waldenses was publicly burned to death in 
the presence of the Pope and his cardinals; in i860 an 
attempt was made to burn a house occupied by Wal- 

At present there is in Rome an Evangelical church, at 
the Piazza di Venezia, open with the following super- 
scription : " Light shineth out of darkness," and the 
Evangelical preacher there has many attentive listeners 
in his audience. At present many of the Catholic popu- 
lation take part in religious affairs with the Waldenses. 
In an Evangelical school, among 200 children there are 
180 children of Catholic parents; that is a great blessing 
for the Waldenses, for which they are thankful to God, 
but at the same time they in return are very thankful for 
the privileges they received on the part of the govern- 
ment of Italy. May Italy and Germany, not only in 
matters of science and politics, but in matters of religion, 
go hand in hand. God bless them. 

July 4th, 1887. 

The Mennonites and Temperance. 

Already in the founding of the Mennonite Church in 
this country, two hundred years ago, at Germantown, 
Pa., we find them taking a decided stand on the temper- 
ance question, and they have ever since been noted for 
their temperance principles, and as the liquor question is 
becoming the most prominent that the public and the 
religious world has to deal with, it is only fitting that 
they should declare their principles now. 

At the last session of the Semi-annual Conference of 
Eastern Pennsylvania, held in Churchville, Berks County, 
May 3d and 4th, 1887, and to which a number of the 
churches of said denomination in Bucks County belong, 
the following resolution was passed without a dissenting 
word or vote : 

"Acknowledging the pernicious influence on the body 
and soul which the manufacture, sale and use of intoxi- 
cating drinks exert on mankind, we rejoice at the steps 
which our State government has taken for the suppres- 
sion and final prohibition of this evil. We acknowledge 
it to be the duty of every Christian to take a decided 
stand in suppressing this evil, and in no way, either by 
word or action, to promote the sale or use of intoxicat- 
ing drinks." — Bucks County Intelligencer. 


Early Churches of Germantown. 

The Mennonites held their first religious service in the 
house of Tonis Kunders (afterwards called Conrad, later 
Cunard), in 1683 ; from that time the Mennonites date 
their organization. Some historians call them the Ger- 
man Friends. As soon as the Friends settled in German- 
town they frequently worshiped together, until in 1705 
the Friends or Quakers built a meeting-house of their 
own, but the Mennonites continued worshiping in private 
houses until the year 1 708, when they built their first 
meeting-house, which was a log house, on the same lot 
where their prosent stone house now stands (built in 

The Dunkards came to Germantown in 17 19. The 
log house was built in 173 1 by John Pettikoffer, for his 
dwelling, who procured his funds by asking gifts there- 
for from the inhabitants. Because it was the first house 
in the place and procured by begging, it was called 
" Beggarstown." The stone church on the same prem- 
ises was built in 1770. 

The German Reformed built their first meeting-house 
opposite to the market-house about the year 1733. The 
front was first built; the back part was added in 1762. 

The Methodists began to preach in Germantown about 
the year 1798, and in 1S00 they built their stone meeting- 
house in the lane opposite to Mr. Samuel Harvey's house. 



The Lutheran church. — It is not accurately known 
when this was built, but it is certain there was a Lutheran 
church in Germantown before the first one in Phila- 
delphia, which was erected in 1743. The first ordained 
minister, Dr. H. M. Muhlenberg, came to Philadelphia 
in 1742. 

The Protestant Episcopal church of St. Luke was built 
in the year 18 19. 

The lower burying-ground of half an acre was the gift 
of John Streeper, of Germany, per Leonard Aret, one of 
the first Mennonites at Germantown ; it is now called 
Hood's cemetery. The upper one was given by Paul 
Wolff, afterwards called Ax's graveyard, now Concord 
burying-ground. Paul Wolff was a Mennonite, and a 
number of the old Mennonites are buried there. 

Old Germantown. 

Its Division into Lots.— The Curious Names of the 

Original Settlers and Something of their 


The German Township, first called " The German 
Town," and when incorporated by William Penn as a 
borough was named Germantown, was laid out by virtue 
of three warrants — one for six thousand acres to Francis 
Daniel Pastorius for the German and Dutch purchasers, 
dated October 12th, 1683, another to Francis Daniel 
Pastorius for two hundred acres, dated February 12th, 
1684, and the third to Jurian Hartsfelder, who was at 
one time the owner of the district of the Northern Lib- 
erties, for one hundred and fifty acres, dated April 25th, 
1684. The land was laid out on April 3d, 1684, and the 
patent was issued in 1689. 

Germantown began fourteen perches below Shoe- 
maker's Lane (now Penn Street) and extended to Abing- 
ton Road (now Washington Lane). The town lots num- 
bered fifty-five and were divided into twenty-seven and a 
half on each side of the main road (now Germantown 
Avenue). The original settlers cast lots for the ground, 
in the cave of Francis Daniel Pastorius, in Philadelphia, 
and the following curious document was in existence 
fifty years ago, and is probably still in preservation: 



" We, whose names are to these presents subscribed, 
do hereby certify, unto all whom it may concern, that 
soon after our arrival in this province of Pennsylvania, in 
October, 1683, to our certain knowledge, Herman Op der 
Graff, Dirk Op der Graff, and Abraham Op der Graff, as 
well as we ourselves, in the cave of Francis Daniel 
Pastorius, at Philadelphia, did cast lots for the respective 
lots which they and we then began to settle in German- 
town ; and the said Graffs (three brothers) have sold their 
several lots, each by himself, no less than if a division in 
writing had been made by them. 

Witness our hands this 29th November, A.D. 1709. 

Lenart Arets, 
Jan Lensen, 
Thones Kunders, 
William Streypers, 
Reynier Tysen, 
Abraham Tunes, 
Jan Lucken." 

The lots were numbered from the north southward, 
and the names of the original holders, as well as the 
owners twenty-five years later, were as follows : 



of Main Road. 




Peter Keurlis. 

Peter Keurlis. 


Tunis Kunders. 

Tunis Conrad. 


John Lensen. 

John Lensen. 


Lenart Arets. 

Leonard Arets. 


Rynier Tyson. 

Isaac Van Sintern. 


John Lucken. 

Herman Carstorp, 

4 i6 



1 7 H. 


Abraham Tunis. 

Jacob Gottschalk. 


Gerhard Hendricks. 
David Sherges. 

Isaac Schumacher. 


Walter Simon. 

Walter Simon. 


Dirk Kolk. 
Wiggert Levering. 

James Delaplaine. 

1 1. 

Herman Van Bon. 

Herman Van Bon. 


Gerhard Levering. 

John Doeden. 





Henry Sellen. 
Isaac Scheffer. 
Henry Buchholtz. 
Frankfort Co. 
Cornelius Bom. 
Isaac Dilbeck. 
Enneke Klosterman. 
John Doeden. 
Andreas Souplies. 
William Rittenhouse. 

Claus Rittenhouse. 

Claus Rittenhouse. 

Dirk Keyser, Sr. 

William Streypers. 

John Henry Sprogell. 

Paul Kestner. 

Daniel Geissler. 

Francis Daniel Pastorius. 

John Doeden. 

Christian Warner. 

Arnold Van Fossen. 

Paul Engle. 

Hans Henry Lane. 

Dirk Keyser. 

Paul Enerle. 

West Side of Main Road. 

1. John Streypers. 

2. Dirk Op de Graeff. 

3. Herman Op de Graeff. 
Abraham Op de Graeff. 

4. John Simons. 

5. Paul Wolf. 

6. John Bleikers. 

Joseph Shippen, Jr. 
Widow Op de Graeff. 
Joseph Shippen, Sr. 

John Neiss. 
Conrad Jansen. 
I lerman Tunes. 








Frankford Co. 
Jacob Schumacher. 
J. Isaac Van Bebber. 
Jacob Tellner. 
Heivert Papen. 
J. Jansen Klinges. 

John Henry Sprogel. 
Quaker Meeting-house, 
John Jarrit. 

Heivert Papen. 
Tunis Conrad. 


Cornelius Siverts. 

Cornelius Siverts. 

J 3- 

Hans Peter Umstad. 

Geo. Adam Hogermeec 


Peter Schumacher. 

Peter Schumacher 


Jacob Tellner. 
Jurian Hartsfelder. 

John Williams. 


Claus Thompson. 
Hans Millan. 

Claus Thompson. 
Dirk Johnson. 


Henry Fry. 

Philip C. Zimmerman. 



Johannes Kassel. 
Abraham Op de Graeff. 
Anthony Klinken. 
John Silans. 

John Henry Sprogel. 
Anthony Klinken. 

Paul Engle. 

Fifty years later these lots were owned principally by 
Edward, Joseph and William Shippen, Theobold Endt, 
Jacob Ritter, Christopher Saur (printer of the first Bible 
in America), Justus Fox, John Bockius, Abraham Griffith, 
John Wynne, William Ashmead, O. Bensell, Christopher 
Meng, Mathias and John Knorr, John, Frederick and 
Peter Ax, John Weiss, Jr., George Dannenhower, Godfrey 
Bockius, Christian Eckstein, John Bringhurst, John 
Wister, Benjamin Shoemaker, Thomas Rose, Casper 
Wister, Paul Kripner, Jacob Bowman, John Lehman, 
Daniel Lucken, Christian Lehman, Wendell Heft, Conrad 
Reiff, Christian Warner. The descendants of many of 


these early property-holders are still residents of and take 
a prominent part in the affairs of Germantown. 

The roads leading from Germantown, as appeared on a 
map made by Christian Lehman, in 1746, were, as are now 
known, on the east, Fisher's Lane or Logan Street ; Duy's 
Lane or Wister Street ; Shoemaker Lane or Penn Street ; 
Church Lane or Mill Street; Methodist Meeting Lane or 
Haines Street, and Keyser's Lane or Washington Lane; 
Queen Lane, now Queen Street ; Bensell's Lane, also 
known as Ashmead's Road, and Schoolhouse Lane, now 
School Street; Rittenhouse's Mill Road, afterwards Poor 
House Lane, and now Rittenhouse Street ; Johnson's 
Lane, near where Walnut Lane is now, and Keyser's 
Lane, from Roxborough, now known as West Washing- 
ton Lane. The above account is given, as part of Men- 
nonite history or their doings, because all the signers 
of the "curious document" above mentioned were Men- 
nonites, and the greater portion of the lot-holders were 
also Mennonites. Jacob Godshalk, owner of lot No. 7, 
in the year 17 14 was a preacher, and came over in the 
year 1702. 

Enneke Klosterman (lot No. 16) afterwards became 
the wife of Francis Daniel Pastorius ; they were married 
November 26th, 1688, and had two sons, John Samuel 
and Henry. Pastorius wrote many books and poems in 
various languages, and many have been lost. The follow- 
ing letter is characteristic : 

Dear children, John Samuel and Henry Pastorius: 
Though you are (Germano Sanguine nati) of High Dutch 
parents, yet remember that your father was naturalized, 
and ye born in an English Colony, consequently each of 
you Anglus ncdus an Englishman by birth. Therefore, 


it would be a shame for you if you should be ignorant of 
the English tongue, the tongue of your countrymen, but 
that you may learn the better I have left a book for you 
both, and commend the same to your reiterated perusal. 
If you should not get much of ye Latin, nevertheless read 
ye the English part oftentimes over and over and over. 
And I assure you that Semper aliqitia lioercbit. For the 
dripping of the house-eaves in time maketh a hole in an 
hard stone. Non vi sed scepe cadendo, and it is very bad 
cloath that by often dipping will take no colour. — F. D. P. 
The book he left, as stated above, is a large volume, 
written in Greek, Latin, German, French, Dutch, English 
and Italian. The book is in a good state of preservation 
and is in possession of the Pastorius family in German- 
town, corner of Main and Pastorius Streets. 


At Ephrata, Lancaster County, was located an institu- 
tion of learning which was for many years the seat of 
learning and the fine arts, and many families of Phila- 
delphia and Baltimore resorted thither to have their 
children educated. There the Declaration of Indepen- 
dence was translated by Peter Miller into seven different 
languages, to be sent to the Courts of Europe. 

The first Sabbath school, too, on record was established 
there; for as early as 1740, full forty years earlier than 
Robert Raikes' much applauded system was known in 
England, this one at Ephrata was begun by Ludwig 

" God willing." — This was once of universal declara- 
tion, in announcing forthcoming sermons to be preached 
at given places. Now it is almost as universally discon- 
tinued, and ministers come and go without any such rest 
on contingencies. No cause has been published for the 
change. — Watson's Annals, Vol. II. 


Old Clock. 

In the house of Mrs. Thomas Givens, in Rittenhouse- 
town, is an old-fashioned tall clock, which has struck the 
hours for more than three centuries since it was first 
wound up by the manufacturer in Holland. It has but 
one hand ; this, however, works around the silver dial- 
plate, and indicates the exact time. 

The clock was the property of the late Jacob C. Ritten- 
house, son of John Rittenhouse. It then became the 
property of Mrs. Spencer, daughter of Jacob C. Ritten- 
house, and is now in possession of Mrs. Thomas Givens, 
daughter of Mrs. Spencer, and a member of the Menno- 
nite Church at Germantown. The clock was evidently 
brought over from Holland by Willem Rittenhouse, the 
first papermaker in America, also the first Mennonite 
minister and first Bishop of the Mennonite Church in 
Germantown, and the first in America. 


Indian Contract and Deed with William 

The following contract of peace brought about with 
the wild Indians or savages, without the use of 
musket or sword, is recorded in a survey book, No. 14, 
in the Land Office, and extracts from the warrant of 
survey by Holme : 

" Philadelphia. 

" To my very loving ffriends Shakhoppah, Secaming, 
Malebore, Tangoras — Indian Kings ; and to Maskecasho, 
Wavvarrin, Tenoughan, Tarrecka, Nesonhaikin — Indian 
Sakamackers, and the rest concerned : 

" Whereas, I have purchased and bought of you, the 
Indian Kings and Sakamackers, for the use of Governor 
William Penn, all your land from Pemapecka Creek to 
Upland Creek, and so backward to Chesapeake Bay and 
Susquehanna, two days' journey; that is to say, as for as 
a man can go in two days, as under the hands and seals 
of you the said kings may appear; and to the end I may 
have a certain knowledge of the land backward, and that 
I may be enabled and be provided against the time for 
running the said two days' journey, I do hereby appoint 
and authorize my loving ffriend, Benjamin Chambers, of 
Philadelphia, with a convenient number of men to assist 
him, to mark out a westerly line from Philadelphia to 
Susquehanna, that so the said line may be prepared and 



made ready for going the said two days' journey back- 
ward hereafter, when notice is given to you the said 
kings, or some of you, at the time of going the said line; 
and I do hereby desire and require, in the name of our 
said Governor Penn, that none of you, the said Kings, 
Sakamackers, or any others, Indians whatsoever, that 
have formerly been concerned in the said tracts of land, 
do presume to offer any interruption or hindrance in 
making out the said line, but rather I expect your ffurther- 
ance and assistance, if occasion be herein ; and that you 
will be kind and loving to my said friend, Benjamin 
Chambers, and his company, for which I shall, on the 
Governor's behalf, be kind and loving to you hereafter, as 
occasion may require. 

" Witness my hand and a seal, this seventh day of the 
fifth month called July, being the fourth year of the 
reign of our great King of England, and eighth of our 
Proprietary, William Penn's government. 

" Thomas Holme." 

A true copy from the original, by Jacob Taylor. With 
the foregoing paper is a diagram of the ground plot of 
the survey. It goes direct from Philadelphia City to a 
spot on the Susquehanna about three miles above the 
mouth of the Conestoga, near to a spot marked, " fort 

In the book of " Charters and Indian Deeds," page 62, 
is given the deed of the foregoing granted lands, to 
wit : 

" We, Shakhoppah,Secane, Malebore, Tangoras, Indian 
Sakamackers, and right owners of ye lands lying between 
Macopanackan, alias Upland, now called Chester River 


or Creek, and the River or Creek of Pemapecka, now 
called Dublin Creek, beginning at a hill called Consho- 
hockin, on the River Manaiunck, or Schoolkill, from 
thence extending a parallel line to the said Macopanackan 
{alias Chester Creek), by a southwesterly course, and 
from the said Conshohockin hill to the aforesaid Pema- 
pecka (alias Dublin Creek), by the said parallel line north- 
westerly, and so up along the said Pemapecka as far as 
the creek extends, and so from thence northwesternly 
back unto the woods, to make up two full days' journey, 
as far as a man can go in two days from the said station 
of the said parallel line at Pemapecka, as also beginning 
at the said parallel at Mecopanackan (Chester Creek), and 
so from thence up the said creek as far as it extends, and 
from thence northwesternly back into the woods, to make 
up two full days' journey, as far as a man can go in two 
days from the said station of the said parallel line at the 
said Macopanackan, alias Chester Creek, For and in 
consideration of 200 fathoms of wampum, 30 fathoms of 
duffells, 30 guns, 60 fathoms of strawed waters, 30 kettles, 
30 shirts, 20 gun belts, 12 pairs shoes, 30 pairs stock- 
ings, 30 pairs scissors, 30 combs, 30 axes, 30 knives, 2 1 
tobacco tongs, 30 bars of lead, 30 pounds powder, 30 
awls, 30 glasses, 30 tobacco boxes, 30 papers of beads, 
44 pounds red lead, 30 pairs of hawks' bells, 6 drawing 
knives, 6 caps, 12 hoes — to us in hand well and truly 
paid by William Penn, Proprietary and Governor of 
Pennsylvania and territories, 

"Do by these presents grant, bargain, sell, etc.,a\\ right, 
title and interest that we or any others shall or may claim 
in the same, hereby renouncing and disclaiming forever 
any claim or pretence to the premises, for us, our heirs 
and successors, and all other Indians whatsoever. 


" In Witness whereof, we set our hands and seals, etc., 
this thirtieth day of the fifth month called July, and in 
the year 1685. 


Shakahappoh, Secane, 

Malebore, Tangoras. 

"Sealed and delivered to Thomas Holme, President 
of the Provincial Council, in the presence of us : 
Tareckhoua, Lasse Cock, 

Penoughant, Mouns Cock, 

Wesakant, Swan Swanson, 

Kacocahahous, Ism Frampton, 

Nehallas, Sam'l Carpenter, 

Toutamen, Will Asley, 

Tepasekenin. Arthur Cook, ' 

Tryall Holme." 


A sect of Baptists in Holland, so called from Mennon 
Simonis of Frizeland, who lived in the sixteenth century. 
This sect believes that the New Testament is the only 
rule of Faith ; that the terms Person and Trinity are not 
to be used in speaking of the Father, Son and Holy 
Ghost ; that the first man was not created perfect ; that 
it is unlawful to swear or to wage war upon any occa- 
sion ; that infants are not the proper subjects of baptism, 
and that ministers of the Gospel ought to receive no 
salary. They all unite in pleading for toleration in 
religion, and debar none from their assemblies who lead 
pious lives and own the Scripture for the Word of God. 
The Mennonites meet privately, and every one in the 
assembly has the liberty to speak, to expound the Scrip- 
ture, to pray and sing. They assemble twice every 
year, from all parts of Holland, at Rynsbourg, a village 
about two leagues from Leyden, at which time they re- 
ceive the Communion, sitting at a table where the first 
distributes to the rest ; and all sects are admitted, even 
the Roman Catholics, if they please to come. — Dictionary 
of Arts and Science. London. Printed for W. Owen 
at Homer's Head, in Fleet-Street, 1764. 


Origin of New Year's Day, or First of 

Anciently the year began with March. This was in 
the day of Romulus, the founder of the once famed city 
of Rome. That legislator, for the use of his people, di- 
vided time into several periods ; but, being more of a 
military man than an astronomer, he made his years to 
consist of ten months, fancying the sun to pass through 
all the seasons in three hundred and four days. This 
distribution occasioned great inconvenience. It, how- 
ever, continued to exist until Numa Pompelius ascended 
the throne, when a remedy was suggested which, it was 
thought, would obviate the difficulty. The introduction 
of two additional months was recommended, and, finally, 
under the names of January and February, were inter- 
polated between December and March. The year was 
than made to begin with January. Respecting the 
origin of this name, we are taught that it came to 
us from the Latin Januarius, a word given to it by 
the Romans. The latter derived it from Janus, one of 
their divinities, who was said to preside over all new 
undertakings. In all sacrifices the first libations of wine 
were offered to him and all prayers prefaced by a brief ad- 
dress to the same distinguished personage. When in the 
flesh, he is said to have ruled as the first king over Italy, 
and to have endeared himself to his subjects by his gen- 



erous and merciful conduct towards strangers and by the 
kindness and consideration which he showed to them- 
selves. His reign was marked by wisdom, judgment 
and prudence and by the reforms which he brought 
about. It was he who taught them that civility raised 
the standard of their morals, and instructed them how to 
improve the vine, raise the corn and make bread. 

So great and powerful a king could not fail to impress 
by his actions a simple-minded and superstitious-loving 
people. What more natural than for them to love and 
serve him while living, and, when dead, to deify and 
place him on the pinnacle of heaven as an object of 
admiration and worship? No longer blessed with his 
presence, and unable to see him with the bodily eye as 
he sat enthroned on high, they must needs have some- 
thing tangible. 

Undertakers for Funerals. 

This is wholly a modern affair. It was formerly the 
case that long trains of friends, male and female, walked 
in procession. It seemed more solemn than now ; and 
when the coffin was accompanied by pall and pall- 
bearers for respectable funerals, it was more dignified 
and imposing. It was a kind of willing homage of 
friends, who thereby signified a willing respect and re- 

gard for the deceased. 


First Mennonites Represented as Quakers. 

The Germans who originally arrived came for con- 
science sake to this land, and were a very religious com- 
munity. They were usually called Palatines, because 
they came from a Palatinate, called Cresheim and Cre- 
feld. Many of the German Friends had been convinced 
by William Penn in Germany. Soon after their settle- 
ment, in 1683, some of them, who were yet in Phila- 
delphia, suffered considerably by fire, and were then 
publicly assisted by the Friends. — Watson's Annals, Vol. 
II, p. 19. 

The above is a specimen by which the reader will see 
how the Mennonites are represented as Quakers. Those 
who originally arrived were thirteen families, all Men- 
nonites, who came from Cresheim and Crefeld in 1683. 
The Friends mentioned above were a different party. 


No Union of Church and State. 

In Bullinger's Widertoufferen Vrsprung, page 165, 
printed by Froschower, at Zurich, 1560, we find the fol- 
lowing : 

Dan sy haltend styff das widerspyl, vnd leerend, die 
Oberkeit moge und solle sich der Religion vnd Gloubens 
sachen nut annehmen. * * Es bedunckt die Touffer 
vngebiirlich syn, dass in der kirchen ein ander schwardt 
dan nun dess Gottlichen worts solle gebrucht werden ; 
vnd noch vil vngeburlicher, dass man menschen, das ist, 
denen die in der Oberkeit sind, solle die sachen der 
Religion oder Gloubens hendel vnderwerfTen. 


Habits of First Settlers. 

In their early days all the better kind of houses had 
balconies in the front, in which, at the close of the day, 
it was common to see the women, at most of the houses, 
sitting and sewing or knitting. At that time the women 
went to their churches generally in short gowns and pet- 
ticoats, and with check or white flaxen aprons. The 
young men shaved smooth and wore white caps; in 
summer they went without coats, wearing striped home- 
spun trowsers, and barefooted ; the old men wore wigs. 
— 1 J T atson y s A nnals. 

Watson says, when speaking of the first settlers of 
Germantown : — " They used no wagons in going to 
market, but the woman went and rode on a horse with 
two panniers slung on each side of her. The women, 
too, carried baskets on their heads, and the men wheeled 
wheelbarrows — being six miles to market. Then the 
people, especially man and wife, rode to church, funerals 
and visits both on one horse ; the woman sat on a pillion 
behind the man." 

Another writer states : — Pastor John Minnich, one of 
the old Mennonite preachers, used to come each Sunday 
from Dolly Lolly Corner, near Shoemakertown, on horse- 
back, his wife, Nanny, riding on behind. Preachers in 
his day did not require a coach and six. 

It was also no uncommon occurrence to see Pastor 


Heinrich Hunsicker, of Perkiomen, go out on a Sun- 
day morning at two o'clock, and fetch his horse from 
pasture, and put a saddle, which he had made of straw, 
on the horse, and then he and his wife would ride to 
Germantown, both on one horse, a distance of twenty 
miles, where he was to preach. 

How 4 oes tne above compare with many of our six 
thousand dollar preachers of to-day ? 

In going to be married the bride rode to meeting 
behind her father, or next friend, seated on a pillion ; but 
after the marriage the pillion was placed, with her, behind 
the saddle of her husband, — Watson's Annals. 



William F. Williams died Friday, April 9th, 1885, 
in the seventy-sixth year of his age. The deceased was 
a member of the Mennonite Church at Germantown, and 
was elected one of the Trustees for the last eight years, 
and succeeded Peter Schriver, as sexton of the church, 
until about two years ago, when he moved to his son-in- 
law, in Cheltenham Township, Montgomery County, 
where he died. He was a devoted Christian gentleman, 
and was universally respected. The funeral services 
were conducted by N. B. Grubb. 

Samuel Rittenhouse died September 5th, 1885, in the 
eighty-fourth year of his age. Deceased was a deacon 
in the Germantown Mennonite Church for many years, 
and was the Secretary of the congregation, and had in 
his possession and care all books and papers belonging 
to the congregation. He is buried in the Mennonite 
graveyard at Germantown. He was highly respected, 
and served in his official capacity to the satisfaction of 
all. The burial services were conducted by N. B. 
Grubb. — Church Records. 



An asterisk * clenotes a Minister. 

Address by Amish Men- 
nonites, 293 

Agnew, General, 113 

Albigenses, 372, 376, 396 
*Alderfer, Isaac, 223 
♦Allebach, John, 230, 238 
*Allebach, Christian, 230 

Allen, William, 242 

Allen, Deed, 246 
*Amen, Jacob, 326 

Amsterdam Synod, 20 

Appomattox, 75 

Arets, Lenart, 50, 51, 62, 

♦Aucker, Christian, 278 
*Aucker, Henry, 278 
♦Aucker, William, 278 
♦Augspurger, Christian, 162 
Axe, John Frederick, 112, 


*Baer, Martin, 115 
*Baer, John, 320 

Baptism of Adults, 371 
372, 373, 376 

Baptism of Infants 10, 18, 
22, 30, 56, 57, 118, 369, 

37o, 37h 378 
Baptists from Mennonites, 


Baptist or Mennonites in 
Holland, 425 
*Bartolet, Henry, 218 

Bartolet, Daniel, 232 
♦Bauer, Henry, 223 

Baumgartner, David, 304 
♦Bean, Amos K., 220 
♦Bear, Adam, 171 

Beasly, Richard, 313, 316 

Bechtel, Abraham, 320 
♦Bechtel, Joseph, 315 
*Bechtel, Abraham, 262 
*Bechtel, Johannes, 262 
♦Bechtel, George B, 262 
♦Bechtel, Johannes B., 263 
♦Bechtel, Johannes C, 263 
♦Bechtel, John B., 261, 275 
♦Bechtel, Samuel, 226, 237 
♦Beghtly, Jacob, 115, 261, 




Behagel, Daniel, 50 
*Beidler, Israel, 252, 270 
*Beidler, Jacob, 253 
*Beidler, John A., 253 
*Beidler, Jesse, 270 

Berends, Claes, 91, 104 
*Bergey, John, 223 
*Bergey, William, 277 

Betzner, Samuel, 313, 314 
*Birke, Johannes, 226 

*Bishop, , 132 

*Blaurock, George, 375 

Bleikers, Johannes, 5 1 
*Bliem, Christian, 252, 275 
*Blosser, Abraham, 135, 

Blosser, Dr. Jacob, 157 
*Boehm, Jacob, 1 18 

Bokanogen, Jan Willemse, 

Bom, Cornelius, 66, 72 

Bom, Herman, 81, 83 
*Bowman, Johannes, 115 
*Boyer, Johannes, 262 

Boyer, Hans, 113 

Bradford, William 73, 74, 
86, 91 

Brandt, Albertus, 68, 85 
*Brechtbuhl, Benedict, 189, 

+ Brenneman, Jacob, 157 
*Brenneman, J. M., 166 

*Brewer, Josiah, 171 

Bricker, Samuel, 316 

Brons, Anna, 104 
*Brubacher, John, 157 
*Brubaker, Jacob, 278 

Brubaker, John, 315 
*Brundage, Daniel, 158, 

*Brunk, Christian, 141, 143 
"Br unk, George, 141 

Buchholz, Heinrich, 69 
*Buck\valter, David, 270 
*Buckwalter, John, 270 

Bullinger's Wiedertauffer 

*Burgholzer, , 115 

*Burghalter or Burchi, 291 
*Burkholder, Peter, 139, 

*Burkholder, Abraham B., 

Burkholder, S. M., 146 
*Burkholder, David, 163 
*Burkhalter, Hans, 189, 

194, 291 

*Burkhalter, , 272 

i: Burkhard, , 272 

Calvin, 1,44, 57 
Calvinists, I, 18, 398 
Calvinist Minister, 403 
Carr, Sir Robert, Sy 



Cassel, Abraham H., 71, 
96, 115, 196, 208, 351, 
Cassel, Hubert, 1 15 
♦Cassel, Yilles, 213, 218, 

♦Cassel, Isaac, 106, 218 
♦Cassel, Joseph, 231 
Cassel, Hoopert, 240 
Cassels, 35 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 

Formerly the Cassels wrote their 
name with K as the following will 
show. They have been given as 
found in old records without 
changing any of them. In later 
years it became a custom among 
them to write with a C. They 
are, however, all the same family. 

♦Kassel, Heinrich, 60, 210, 
Kassel, Johannes, 70, 71, 

Kassel, Arnold, 70, 85, 86 

Kassel, Peter, 70 
Kassel, Elizabeth, Mary 
and Sarah, 70 
♦Kassel, Yilles, 71, 199, 

Kassels, 71 
Cate, Ten, 74 
Charles II, 46 
♦Christophel, Jacob, 159, 


Classen, Cornelius, 91 
*Claus, Jacob, 60, 78 
Claypoole, James, 52, 53, 

♦Clemens, Isaac, 223 
♦Clemmer, Velti, 115, 251, 

♦Clemmer, Josiah, 225 
♦Clemmer, Christian, 253, 

♦Clemmer, Samuel, 267 
♦CorTman, John S., 162,163 
*Coffman, Samuel, 133, 141, 

143, 145, 149 
Committee on Foreign 

Needs, 184, 185, 194, 

195, 196, 199, 201, 289, 

Confession of Faith at 

Amsterdam, 23 

Confession of Faith at 

Dortrecht, 25 

♦Conrads, John, 1 1 5 

Cotweis, Conrad, 92 

Council at Carthage, 370 

Council at Rome, 370 

♦Co vie, James, 162 

Cunard, Samuel, 124 

Dathenus, Peter, 23 
Declaration to Hon. As- 
sembly, 101 



Deed of Germantown 
Church, 98 

De Hoop Scheffer, Prof. J. 
G, 96 

De la Plaine, Nicholas, 86 

De la Plaine, James, 86, 93 
*De Lanoi, Jean, 105 

Delavell, John, 67 
*Denner, Jacob, 236 
*Derstein, George, 238 
*Detwiler, George, 219 

Detwiler, Samuel K., 237 

Detwiler, Jacob, 238 
*Detwiler, Samuel D., 239 

Dewees, William and Cor- 
nelia, 94 
*Diehl, Henry, 275 

Dock, Christopher, 98, 
107, 221, 203 

Doeden, Jan, 81, 88 

*Ebersole, Abraham, of 

Ind., 164 
*Ebersole, Abraham,of Md., 

*Ebersole, John, 279 
*Eby, Christian, 296 
*Eby, Peter, 296 
*Eby, Benjamin, 296, 313, 

315, 3.21 
*Eby, Benjamin, Jr., 297 
*Eby, Peter, Jr., 297 

Eby, John, 317 
Eleanora, Johanna, 50 
Engle, Paul, 89, 113 
*Erb, John, 272, 279, 321 
*Esht, John M., 261, 263 

Falkner, Daniel, 88, 89 

Falkner, Justus, 91 
*Fauver, John, 132 
*Fox, George, 16, 58, 118 
*Forry, Joseph, 277 

Frame, Richard, 74 

Frank, , 18 

Frankfort Purchases, 64 
*Fredericks, A. H., 1 10 
* Freed, Jacob, 161 
*Fretz, Abraham, 238 
*Fretz, Allen M., 258 

Fretz, John, 31 2 
*Friedt, Hans, 242 

Fried, Paul, 94 
*Friesen, Abraham, 173 
*Friesner, Harvey, 164 
*Funk, John F., 62, 82, 

162, 341 
*Funk, Jacob, Jr., 108, 109, 

225, 338, 339- 340 
Funk, Catharine, 108 
*Funk, Heinrich, 108, 199, 
213, 221, 225, 226, 337 
*Funk, Albert E., 1 10 1 16, 
* 267 
















Joseph, 148 
Christian, 150, 225, 

David, 164 

Martin, 200 
Henry, 240 
John, 240 
Heinrich, 262 
John, 270 
Jacob, 270 
Michael, 278 
John, 311 
Jacob, Sr., 338 
Benjamin, 52, 53, 


*Gehman, Samuel, 238 
*Gehman, Jacob, 256 
*Gehman, Johannes, 263 
*Gehman, Hannes, 265 
*Gehman, John, 265 
*Gehman, William, 265, 

*Gehman, Samuel, 278 
*Geissinger, Abraham, 256 
*Geissinger, John, 257 
Geissler, Daniel, 85, 90 
*Geil, John, 141 
*Geil, John, Jr., 141, 149 
*Geil, John, 248 
Germantown, Seal, 84 
Gerritz, Lubbert, 58 

Gettysburg, 75 
*Gilmer, Isaac, 278 
*Gingerich, Isaac, 278 
*Gnagy, John, 162 
*Godshall, Jacob, 225, 236 
*Godshall, Henry, 231 
*Godshall, Moses, 234, 235, 
253, 267 

Godshall, Godshall, 234 
*Godshall, William S., 235 

Godshall, William, Sr., 236 

Godshall, Andrew, 240 
*Godshall, Samuel, 240, 

*Godshall, Abraham, 245, 

*Godshall, Isaac, 247 

Gottschall, George, 89 
*Gottschall, Jacob, 92, 105, 
106, 115, 182, 199, 213, 
218, 295, 418 
Good, David, 161 
*Gorgas, John, 113, 115 
*Goses, Hemine, 60 
Gray, Algernon S., 138, 

Graeme, Thomas, 122 

*Graybill, , 131 

*Graybill, Thomas, 277 
*Graybill, Solomon, 277 
Graybill, John, Sr., 278 
*Graybill, John, Jr., 278 



*Graybill, Christian, 278 
*Graybill, Jacob, 278 

Graybill, William, 278 
*Gross, Jacob, 242, 311 
*Gross, Christian, 244 
*Gross, John, 244, 247 
*Gross, Samuel, 247 
*Gross, Jacob, 313 
*Grow, Isaac, 141 
*Grubb, Nathaniel B., no, 
115, 235, 268 

*Habecker, David, 170 
*Hahn, Jacob, 170 
*Haldeman, Christian, 223, 

*Haldeman, John, no, at 

New Britain, Bucks Co , 

Pa., and Germantown. 
■*Haldeman, Abraham, 269, 

*Haldeman, Jacob, 270 
*Haldeman, Joseph, 270 
*Hartman, Emanuel, 164 
Hasevoet, Abraham, 50 

*Hauser, , 271 

*Heatwole, Daniel, 141 
*Heatwole, Gabriel D., 

141, 144 
*Heatwole, Peter S., 141 
*Heatwole, Joseph F., 141, 

144, 149 

*Heges, Daniel, 281 
*Hellerman, George, 270 

*Hellerman, , 1 10 

* Hendricks, Peter, 60 
Hendricks, Gerhard, 68, 
69, 70, 74, 78, no, in 
Hendricks, Dewees Ger- 
hard, 69 
Hendricks, Dewees Adri- 
an, 69 
*Hendricks, Laurence, 78, 


Hendricks, William, 89 
Hendricks, Barndt, 92 
*Henning, David, 275 
*Herr, Christian, 1 15 
*Herr, John, 154 
*Herr, Christian, 272 
*Herr, Jacob, 272 
*Herr, Hans, 287, 298 
*Herr, Christian, 298 
*Herr, John, 298 
*Herr, D. K., 298 
*Herr, Amos, 298 
*Herr, John, 298 
*Herr, Benjamin, 298 
*Hershey, Benjamin, Bish- 
op, 157 
*Hershey, Benjamin, 160 
*Hershey, Andrew, 299 
*Hershey, Benjamin, 299 
*Hershey, Christian, 299 



Herstein, John, 234, 236 
*Hess, Samuel, 271 
*Hiestand, Jacob, 247 
*Hiestand, Jacob, 252 
*Hildebrand, Jacob, 132, 

Hildebrand, Peter, 330 
*Hirschi, Benedict, 115 
^Hoch, Daniel, 313 

Hoedt, Casper, 85 
*Hoover, Martin, 159 

Horekill, 87 
*Horning, Abel, 238 
*Horst, Michael, 171 

Huber, Benjamin, 161 

*Hulzhauser, , 265 

*Hunsberger, Christian, 219 
*Hunsberger, John B., 219 
Hunsberger, John, 233 
*Hunsberger, Jacob, 241 
*Hunsberger, Jacob B., 270 
*Hunsicker, Heinrich, 106, 

218, 234, 236,433 
*Hunsicker, Abraham, no, 

233, 252 
*Hunsicker, Henry A., 110 
*Hunsicker, Frank, 110 
*Hunsicker, John, 218, 252 
*Hunsicker, Jacob, 241 
*Hunsicker, John, 279 
*Huss, John, 44 

Indian Contract with Wil- 
liam Penn, 422 

Indian Deed to William 
Penn, 423 

Jacobs, John, 94, 113 

* Jansen, Claus, 82, 94, 106, 

218, 295 
Jansen, Reynier, 89, 90 
Jansen, Peter, 405 
Jansen, Dirk, 91, 113 
Jansen, Dirk, 91 
Jansen, Conrad, 105 
Javvert, Balthaser, 50 
*Johnson, Nicholas, 115 

* Johnson, Henry, Sr., 220 
*Johnson, Henry, Jr., 220 

Johnson, Henry G., 253 
Jones, Hon. Horatio Gates, 
364, 36S 

*Kaiser, Leonard, 74, 374 

*Kauffman, D. D., 157, 158 

Karsdorp, Herman, 91, 

104, 105, 182, 184 
Karsdorp, Isaac, 91 
Karstner, Paul, 82, 85 
Kasselberg, Hendricks, 82 
*Keim, Peter, 164 
Keith, George, 67, 79, 85 
Keller, Dr. Ludwig, 79 
Kelpius, Johannes, 88 



Kemler, Dr. Johannes, 50 
Kendig, Martin, 286, 287 

*Kephart, , 247 

Kercheval, Samuel, 129 
Keurlis, Peter, 51 
Keyser, Dirk, 74, 106, 342, 

Keyser, Jacob, 107 
Keyser, Peter, 1 1 3 
Keyser, Peter, Jr., 343 
Kleever, Peter, 82, 88, 90 
Klinken, Arents, 73, 85, 

Klosterman, Ennecke, 81, 

83, 418 
Klumpges, Jacob Jansen, 

*Kneage, , 156 

Knorr, Jacob, 107 
Kolb, Jacob, Johannes 

and Martin, 71, 94 
Kolb, Jacob, 94, 106, 345 
Kolb, Johannes, 94, 344 
*Kolb, Martin, 94, 105, 
106, 115, 182, 199, 213, 
218, 344 
*Kolb, Henry, 94, 106, 1 15, 

218, 295, 344 
*Kolb, Dielman, 199, 206, 

213, 221, 222, 344 
*Kolb, Isaac, 226 
*Kolb, Samuel, 242 

*Kolb, Jacob, 247 
Kolb, Dielman, 344 

*Kulp, Abraham, 344 

*Kulp, Jacob, 223 

*Kulp, Jacob C, 230, 231 
Kramer, Andries, 82, 85 
Kratz, Valentine, 240 

*Kratz, Valentine, 311,312, 

*Krehbiel, Jacob, 169 
*Krehbiel, Jacob, Jr., 169 

Krey, John, 94 
*Krupp, Jacob, 231 

Kunders, Thonis, 51, 53, 
83, 96, 1 13, 1 16, 412 
*Kurtz, Jacob, 278 
*Kurtz, John, 278 

Kuster, Arnold, 61, 85 

Kuster, Paulus, 87 

Kuster, Johannes, 94 

Kuster, Hermanus, 94 

Kuster, Peter, 123 

*Landis, David H., 141 

* Landis, Elias, 218 
*Landis, Jacob, 225 

Landis, Samuel, 237, 275 
*Landis, Daniel, 244 
*Landis, William, 253 

* Landis, Rudolph, 311 
*Langenacker, Daniel, 1 1 5, 

261, 263 



♦Lapp, John, 169 
*Lapp, Abraham, 169 
Laurens, Jan, 50, 66 
Lederach, Christian, 240 
Lehbrun, Johannes, 50 
♦Lehman, P. P., 158 
♦Lehman, Peter S., 158 
♦Lehman, Peter Y., 162 
♦Lehman, Joseph, 164 
♦Lehman, Peter, 169 
♦Lehman, Benjamin, 279 
♦Lehman, Samuel, 279 
♦Lehman, John, 279 

Lensen, Jan, 51, 61, 65 
♦Lesher, Benjamin, 279 
Levering, Gerhard, 72 
Leyden, John of, 56 
Liberty of Speech, 371, 

Liberty of Conscience, 
IOI, 118, 119, 121, 310 

Loher, , 84, 95 

Logan, James, 59 

Loof, Anthony, 82 
♦Loucks, Jacob, 162 
♦Loucks, Jonas, 162 
♦Loux, Jacob C, 231 
♦Loux, Enos, 279 

Lucken, Jan, 5 1 

Luther, Martin, 1, 18, 19, 
56, 57, 118 

Lutherans, 43, 44 

Mack, Andreas, 261, 263 

Mann, Dr. W. J., of Zion 
Church, 80 

Martin, E. K., 13, 16, 43 
♦Martin, John, 171 
♦Martin, David, 271 
* Martin, Henry, 271 

Martyrs' Mirror, 48, 200, 
21 1 

Mastricht, Dr. Gerhard 
Von, 50 
♦Matthys, Johann, 12,56 
♦Mehrning, 18, 376, 397 
♦Mellinger, Daniel, 141 

Mennonites, 10, 12, 14, 16, 
18, 22, 24, 43, 44, 86, 
381, 392, 412,413 
♦Mensch, Jacob, 219 

Merian, Casper, 50 
♦Metzler, Noah, 162 
♦Meyer, Christian, 226 
♦Meyers, Abraham, 224 
♦Meister, Leon hard, 373 

Millan, Hans, 81 

Millan, Matteus, 85 
♦Miller, Henry A., 163 
♦Miller, Joseph, 167 

Miller, Peter, 420 
♦Minnich, John, 110, 236, 

Moravians, 44 
Mosheim, 22 



*Moyer, M. S., 158 
*Moyer, Daniel, 160 

* Moyer, Jacob, 223 

* Moyer, Michael, 225 
*Moyer, Abraham F., 241 
*Moyer, Henry B., 241 
*Moyer, Isaac, 244 

* Moyer, Peter, 256 
*Moyer, Peter, Jr., 256 
*Moyer, Jacob, 256 
*Moyer, Samuel, 256, 275 
*Moyer, Jacob S., 256 

Moyer, Samuel, 31 1 
*Moyer, Samuel, 311 

* Moyer, Jacob, 312 

* Moyer, Jacob, 313 
*Moyer, Dillman, 313 
*Moyer, Abraham, 313 

Muhlenberg, Henry Mel- 
chior, 54 
*Mumaw, Amos, 162 
*Mumma, Jacob, 271 

Minister, 19 

Munsterites, II, 18, 381, 

Murray, General, his vault, 

*Musselman, Jacob, 250,252 
*Musselman, Michael, 251, 

*Musselman, Samuel, 251 
*Musselman, Samuel, 275 

*Musselman, Jonas, 275 

Name List of Mennonite 
Ministers, 201,202, 269 

Nash, Francis, General, 

Nash, Joseph, 244 

Nash, Samuel, 244 

Neuss, Jan, 89, 93 

Newcomer, Henry, 161 
*Nice, Henry, 164 
*Nice, John, 164 
*Nice, Henry, Sr., 225 
*Noe, Frangois, 360 
*Nusbaum, John, 161 

*Oberholzer, John H., 116, 
233. 252, 253, 254, 255, 
258, 275 
*Oberholzer, Jacob, 226 
Oberholzer, Jacob, 231 
*Oberholzer, Marcus, 242 
^Oberholzer, Abraham, 3 1 1 
*Overholt, Isaac, 241 
*Overholt, Abraham, 244 
Op den Graeff, Abraham, 
51, 53,61,68, 70, no, 
11 1 
Op den Graeff, Herman, 
78, 83 
Op den Graeff, Dirk, 51, 




1 10 
Op de Trap, Herman, 82 

Papen, Heivert, 73, 8^, 85 
Papists, 18 
*Parret, Philip H., 279 
Pastorius, Daniel Francis, 

83.85,93, no, 111,415. 

Pastorius, Melchior Adam, 

Penn, William, 16, 44, 46, 

49, 50, 51,62, 118,403, 

Penn, Thomas, 122 
Pennypacker, Samuel W., 

20, 71, 78, 82, 8y, 106, 

1 10, 1 n, 116, 221 
Pennypacker, Heinrich, 

9i, 94 
*Pennypacker, Matthias, 

125, 270 
*Penner, Gerhard, 173 
* Peters, Isaac, 173 
Peterson, Dr. Johann Wil- 

helm, 50 
Pettikoffer, John, 412 
*Philipps, Ubbo, 12 
*Philipps, Dirk, 12, 56, 57 
Pietists, 86, 88, no 

Plockhoy, Cornelitz, 8y } 88 

Quakers, 46,60, 101, 121, 
139, 185, 212, 232, 343, 

Quakers' Visit among the 
Mennonites in Russia, 


Quakers' Visit among the 
Mennonites in Pennsyl- 
vania, 326 

Quakers; Tho Story's 
Visit in Germany, 53 

*Remke, Govert, 18, 55 
*Remke, John, 61, 73 
Renberg, William, 94 

* Reiner, Peter, 173 
Reyner, Hans, 1 1 3 

*Rickert, Isaac, 247 
Ries, Hans de, 58 

*Riesner, , 164 

*Risser, Jacob, 171 

* Rittenhuysen, W T illem, 70, 

73.88,97,104, 124. 182, 


Rittenhuysen, Willem, be- 
came a citizen at Am- 
sterdam, 364 

Rittenhuysen, Willem, first 
Mennonite Minister in 
America, 48 



Rittenhuysen, Willem, 

built first paper-mill in 

America, 48 
Rittenhuysen, Willem, in- 
stalled first Mennonite 

Bishop in America, 105, 

361, 365 
Rittenhouse, Elizabeth, 70, 

73, 104, 363 
*Rittenhouse, Nicholas, y^, 

104, 106, 107, 115, 363, 

365, 366 
Rittenhouse, Gerhard, y^ } 

104, 113 363 
Rittenhouse, Abraham, 107 
Rittenhouse, David, the 

Philosopher, 123, 366. 
* Rittenhouse, Matthias, 

218, 236, 365, 366 
Rittenhouse, Jacob C, 42 1 
Rittenhouse, Samuel, 434 
*Roads, John, 131 

Rohrer, Joseph, 159 
*Rosenberger, Henry, 226, 

*Roosen, Gerhard or Ger- 

ritt, 18, 55, 105 
Roosen, Paul, 91, 104,359, 

Roosen, Kord, 358 
Roosen, Gerhard, 358, 360, 


Roosen, Gerlink, 359, 360 

Rothman, Bernhard, 53, 
384, 385, 386 
*Roth, Jacob, 168 
*Roth, Daniel, 171 
*Royer, Daniel, 162 
*Rupp, George, 271 
*Rupp, Henry, 271 

R utters, Koenradt, 53 
*Ruth, David, 231, 248 

Ryndertz, Tjaent, 57 

Sabbath School, the first 

on record, 420 
Saint Aldegonde, 23 
Saur, Christopher, Sr., 48, 
124, 205, 206, 207, 215 
Saur, Christopher, Jr., 206, 

Schaffer, Isaac, 81 
*Schank j Abraham, 141 
*Schank, Samuel, 141 
Schantz, Jacob Y., 152 
*Schantz, Christian, 164 
*Schantz, Joseph, 253 
*Schantz, John, 265 
*Schantz, Joseph, 265 
*Schefter, Dr. J. G. De 

Hoop, 13, 80, 96, 290 
Scherch, Joseph, 313, 314 

*Scherch, , 324 

*Schiffler, Albrecht, 174 



*Schimmel, Levi O., 252, 

*Schmitt, John, 157 
*Schmidt, J. R., 160, 161, 
Schmutz, Johannes, 236 
Schneider, Theodore, the 

Jesuit, 260 
Scholl, Johannes, 94 
*Schowalter, Christian, 280, 
Schumacher, Peter, 5 1, 68, 

69, 71, 92,93,95, 113 
Schumacher, Jacob, 53, 

Schumacher, Sarah, 70 
Schumacher, Benjamin, 

Schumacher, Samuel, 70 
Schumacher, Isaac, 93 
Schultz, Dr. Johann Jacob, 

*Schulz, Jonas Y., 275 
*Schwartz, Abraham, 242 
Schwenkfeld, Casper, 56, 

118, 121 
Schwenkfelders assisted 

by Mennonites, 196 
Seidensticker, Oswald, 46 
Seimens, Jan, 5 1 , 72 
Sellen, Hendrick, 61, 81, 

Severance of Church and 

State, 57 
Sewel, William, 60 
*Seijmensma, N.J., 160, 161 

Silans, Johann, 81 
*Simons, Menno, 10, 11, 
12, 13,14, 16, 17, 18,19, 
20, 21, 56, 57, 358, 377, 

Sipman, Dirk, 49, 50, 51, 

52,6i, 73,93 
Siverts, Cornelis, 81,85, 89 
Slavery Protest, 75, no, 

Sleidanus, 56 
*Smith, John, 159 
*Snyder, Sicke, 56 
*Shank, Lewis, 141 
*Shaum, Henry, 162, 163 
♦Shelly, Henry L., 164 
*Shelly, William N, 252, 

*Shelly, Andrew B., 252, 


*Shelly, Uriah, 266 

*Shelly, William, 275 

*Shelly, Henry, 278 

*Shenk, John, 132 

Sheridan, General, 140 
*Sherk, John, 278 

Shiloh, 75 
*Showalter, Daniel, 141 



*Showalter, Daniel, 270 
*Showaltcr, John, 270 

*Snavely, , 164 

Souplis, Andries, 81 
Spencer, Mrs., 431 
*Speicher, John P., 164. 
*Stanly, George W., 136, 

State Churches, 19, 43 
State and Church, 21, 119 

*StaurTer, , 131 

StaurTer, Daniel, 200 
Stauffer, Heinrich, 262 
*Stauffer, John, 279 
StaurTer, Daniel, 367 
StaurTer, Hans, 367 
*Stofer, Eli, 162 
Story, Thomas, 59 
Strauss, George, 50 
Streypers, Willem, 51, 

Streypers, Jan, 49, 50, 52, 
73,96, 113 
*Strickler, John, 279 
Suters, Daniel, 135, 137 
Swamp Church Deed, 250 
Swamp Church destroyed 
by fire, 250 

*Taylor, Lewis, 275 
*Teeds, Jacob, 141 
Tell, William, 21 

Telner, Jacob, 49, 50, 52; 
53. 61, 66, 6y, 83, 185 ' 
Telner, Jacob, baptized, 68 
Telner's Township, 68 
Thomas, Gabriel, 74 
Tresse, Thomas, 90 
Trow, Mr., 152 
Tunes, Abraham, 51 
Tyson, Reynier, 51 
Tyson, Cornelius, 91 

Uberfeldt, Johann Wil- 

helm, 50 
Umstat, Hans Peter, 68 
Umstat, Johannes, 94 
Unzicker, Peter, 164 

*Van Braght, 18 
Van Bebber, Jacob Isaacs, 

50, 66, 8 3 
Van Bebber, Isaac Jacobs, 

Van Bebber, Matthias, 93, 
94, 106, 217, 218 
*Van derSmissen, Carl H. 

A., 266 
*Van der Smissen, C. J., 

202, 281 
Van der Werf, Richard, 91 
*Van Helle, Pieter, 105, 361 
*Van Kampen, Jacob, 105 




Van Kolk, Dirk, 8 1, 83 
Van Sintern, Isaac, 91, 

104, 105, 182 
Van Sintern, Heinrich, 91 
Van Vossen, Arnold, 91, 

93, 97 
*Van Weenigen, Bastiaan, 

Voss, Jan de, 91, 
*Voth, H. R., 127 

*Wadel, Peter, 279 
Waldenses, 18, 55, 358 
Waldenses in three divis- 
ions, 372 
*Waldus, Peter, 17 

Walle, Jacob Van de, 50 
*Weaver, Samuel, 141 
*Weaver, Joseph, 157 
*Weaver, J. J., 163 
* Weaver, J., 166 
*Weaver, Henry, 272 
*Weitman, Adam, 319 
*Weitman, Henry, 319 
*Weitman, Jacob, 319 
*Wenger, Christian, 164 
*Wenger, Henry, 141 
Wertmuller, George, 53 

*Westhaser, , 271 

Wickliffe, 17 

William, Prince of Orange, 


Williams, Jan, 82 
Williams, William F., 434 
Wilhelms, Gisbert, 82 
Wilson, Margaret, 44 
*Winny, Samuel, 278 
*Wisler, Jacob, 159 
*Wissler, Martin, 272 
*Wismer, Abraham, 218 
*Wismer, Henry, 219 
*Wismer, Abraham, Sr., 

*Wismer, Abraham, 311 
Wister, John, 417 
Wister, Casper, 417 
*Witmer, Abraham, 278 
*Witmer, David, 277 
*Witmoyer, Cyrus, 278 
Wolf, Paul, 81, 85, 92 
Woman in the Wilderness, 

S8 ■ 
Wylich, Dr. Thomas Van, 

*Yoder, Samuel, 162 
* Young, Abraham, 253 
*Young, Valentine, 274 

Zaller, Melchior, 189, 291 
*Zetty, Christian, 252 
Zschokke, Heinrich, 305 
*Ziegler, Michael, 94, 115, 
199, 213, 218, 222, 295 



*Ziegler, Andrew, 108, no, 

218, 223 
Ziegler, Andrew, Sr., 222 
Ziegler, Andrew D., 234 
Zimmerman, Christopher, 


*Zimmerman, John Hein- 

rich, 1 73 
*Zimmerman, Samuel, 271 
*Zimmerman, Benjamin, 272 
Zwingli, Ulrich, 9, 21, 44, 
56, 118